Presented by Bold360 by LogMeIn

Conversational AI is an urgent part of the AI landscape right now, and text analytics, specifically, speech-to-text technologies, will be the most predominant form of AI in business in 2019. It’s a major priority at Transform 2019, July 10 & 11, where VentureBeat will be co-hosting the Conversational AI Summit with Bold360 by LogMeIn.  We’ll be talking about everything from the state of conversational AI — and where the platforms are taking it; to ecommerce, messaging and conversion; to the customer journey and support; to operationalizing voice AI.

The speaker line-up includes experts from brands and tech companies who are leading the charge including IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Comcast, Planned Parenthood, Salesforce, Rakuten, Forrester, Ameritrade, and more.

“The Summit is important because conversational AI isn’t an overhyped future possibility, but rather a technology you should be investing in today to help drive your business forward,” says Ryan Lester, senior director of customer experience technologies at LogMeIn. Partnering with VentureBeat felt like a natural fit as they are a leader in visionary tech predictions, highlighting the next big move, and that’s where we are with conversational AI.”

While the Summit will feature best practices and a look at where the research is going, it will also spend a lot of time focused on how leaders and practitioners can leverage this technology today to transform their business, and also where the pitfalls, challenges or opportunities are going forward.

According to Ryan, companies are investing in conversational AI because it makes the time and energy that are put into marketing programs, training sales teams, and crafting great customer experiences actually work the way they’re supposed to.  Consider a successful marketing push that gets a customer to a website, but once they are there, they’re left on their own. Or sending them to a help page, where they have to figure out the right answer to their question, or eventually fight through an IVR tree structure just to wait on hold to speak to someone.

“The power of AI — specifically around conversational — is that you’re moving from a declaration to a conversation,” Lester says. Today a customer goes to a website and is met with, ‘We have something on sale!” whether it’s relevant or not. Or they get an email, and it’s a declaration: ‘Here’s why this offer is right for you!’ But there’s a unique opportunity now with conversational AI to think about how to have an ongoing, natural conversation with a customer that’s not forced, not pushed for the company’s sake. Rather, now you’re having this ongoing dialogue with every visitor to every channel you offer.”

In other words, it starts to take those critical moments when the customer needs you most and puts you front and center with that customer and ensures you are ready to engage with them immediately. And the technology is now powerful enough to search and deliver personalized, contextual experiences that help to amplify all of your existing spend, from the marketing spend used to get people to your website, to the sales spend to train your salespeople, to the customer service spend to create great customer experiences. And it can be everywhere, ubiquitous, and always available.

Ryan points out that the technology is at a point where it can understand intent and parse out customer statements. Messaging interfaces, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp or even web chat, have matured and customers use them quite naturally in their everyday lives, and voice interfaces are capturing larger segments of customer interest.

Most importantly, it’s the combination of these interfaces that is launching conversational AI into the conversation — this ability to engage in the way the customer wants to engage, whether it’s through messaging, through an app, or through voice, and the fact that it can all be powered by the same conversational AI experience in the background.

“If you have an opportunity to engage with every new or existing customer and turn those single interactions into  an ongoing conversation, it can be like a magic wand for businesses,” says Lester. “The outcome of that customer conversation is a better understanding of your customers so that you can provide them better service over time. That’s the holy grail that we’ve all been looking for, and now the technology is getting to a point where we can start seeing that as a possibility.”

Go Deeper: Check out the full agenda for the Conversational AI Summit on July 10 & 11!

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