Artificial Intelligence to Change BusinessWed, 02/21/2018 - 12:00
Q: What opportunities does Artificial Intelligence (AI) offer to change the way businesses are conducted?
A: AI is going to allow for intelligent automation. If you look at Google’s DeepMind project and how they have leveraged it to manage their overall infrastructure and data servers, they were able to bring down around 20 percent of their electricity costs just by deploying DeepMind against those problems.
Wizeline helps companies to leverage data, often their own. Our platform is integrated into our customer’s success management system and other data sources like surveys. Our algorithms then help us identify the features and products that are most likely to be successful. We have a manufacturing customer who today may have several dozen company employees sitting outside its HR office. Those employees are asking very basic questions: how much vacation time they have left, how much money do they have in their retirement account. All that information is readily accessible and would be easily accessible via a chatbot. A chatbot can also access an employee’s file. You can imagine if a company placed tablets all around their manufacturing plant, employees could just tap one and ask those questions. That is one of the interesting things about AI, it is creating a very human-like interface between data and customers.
Q: How can companies achieve brand continuity through the use of chatbots?
A: Bots need to be trained. A bot by itself it is just an application within a decision tree. In order for it to have a personality and to learn about the customer, you need to train it. The longer the bot is available and has access to customers and data, the more personalized it is going to become. One of the things Wizeline focuses on when working with customers is the look and feel of the brand; what brand personality do they want the end customer to experience.
Q: Human capital is a main component of the digital revolution. Are universities generating the needed talent to further this change in Mexico?
A: The types of opportunities that will maximize the output and innovation from the talent that we have in Mexico are from companies that can create an environment where it is ok to fail or to experiment and fail. That is one of the things that Silicon Valley does so well and it is one of the things that Mexico needs to learn. Mexico needs to bring more of that culture by bringing more Silicon Valley companies.
To be competitive in a tech-enabled world, mathematics, even more than programing, is incredibly important. As a company, we focus heavily on making sure that other technology companies understand that Mexico is a great place to set up development centers. We believe that by having more companies in Mexico we can have a tighter integration between academic instruction and tech innovation. The big schools that produce a good percentage of the employees in Silicon Valley have not only their students working in tech companies but also the professors. It is difficult to see where academia ends and where the private sector begins.
Mexico has some of the greatest potential in the world in terms of people and we need to create an environment that allows them to really achieve that potential. Part of that is going to be not just the educational system but companies investing in that talent to make sure they achieve their potential.
Q: Mexico’s image is that of a maquila country. How does it transform itself from a manufacturing economy to an intelligence-driven economy?
A: Every country needs to go through that phase. We have seen this with many of the innovation centers around the world that started off as maquilas and then built up talent. The key is that you need to invest in companies that are going to be building real products. The fact that Wizeline builds products for global audiences gives our employees visibility into global problems and how to solve those issues.