As the EU takes a step towards regulating the development and use of AI – and with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak off to Washington to be told what to do about AI by president Biden – the telecoms and telemedia sectors are motoring ahead deploying AI-based systems to drive and enhance customer engagement.
A raft of announcements across last week and this show just how rapidly AI, particularly generative AI, has not only entered the business mindset, but been taken up by platforms and service providers. Clearly, this was a technology that the industry has been crying out for.
Amdocs, for instance, has this week released an enterprise-grade generative AI framework called amAIz, offering telcos a carrier-grade architecture based around open-source generative AI large language models (LLM), which can help carriers build better engagement platforms for resale, create better customer offerings based on finely parsing all that customer data that has typically gone to waste and offering intelligent network capabilities.
One step down the value chain, customer engagement platform Twilio is attempting to do much the same, using AI and LLM leverage the vast amount of customer data it has from the trillion-plus customer interactions it facilitates across text, voice and mobile use to help CSPs and other users of its service offer much more personalised and bespoke interactions with customers at scale.
Even an Australian start-up called Dubber is getting in on the act, using AI to analyse consumer interactions to help CSPs and communications service providers create better and, you guessed it, more personalised levels of customer engagement based on understanding their behaviour at a more granular level.
Research by Global Data out last week shows that CSPs in particular really have to get to grips with offering much better customer service and engagement if they are to drive growth in these difficult economic times – and much of that comes from better understanding and more forensically analysing the data they gather on their customers.
This is set to be what underpins the next wave of development in everything from CPaaS platforms right out to the kinds of engagements put into action by brands and businesses that use these platforms to interact with and upsell to their consumers.
And there is no getting round the fact that AI is the tool that is going to allow this shift to the next level of ultra-personalisation that is required, but at scale.
The unveiling this week of Apple’s predicted foray into ‘visual computing’ with the launch of its Apple Vision Pro headset – more of which next week – only adds to the pressure for content providers, comms providers and pretty much any business that is looking to engage consumers. While it will be a slow burn, Apple doesn’t enter markets that it doesn’t think are going to fly, so VR/MR is certainly going to be a thing at some point in the not-too-distant future.
What does that mean for businesses? It means another, even more immersive, channel through which interaction is going to happen. And this is going to be so rich that it will only be AI – generating images and sounds and messages and even avatars – that will be able to manage this process effectively.
While politicians, quite rightly, need to look at how to police and regulate the development of AI, they have an uphill battle on their hands. They move slowly and ponderously, getting the details right, while the tech – both for delivering services and the AI that will sit behind it – are moving so fast that, by the time you read this, things will have moved on again.
The launch of all these AI products in the same week as Apple effectively launches a new content consumption platform, only goes to show that any regulation not only has to move fast, but will have to be able to not only offer protection from rampant AI and data use, but also to be nimble enough to adapt week by week as the capabilities of AI and its reach continue to advance.