Alexa, run my business! With our voice and bot assistants – whether they come from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung or Huawei – evermore entwined in our personal lives, it’s time to get down to business. As consumers or employees, we want our digital intermediaries – our own, unique avatars – to represent our individual needs with brands, services and systems on our behalf. From a service or product provider’s perspective, we want to understand, engage and interact with these avatars – in order to secure the right, signature moments with customers and employees alike. Avatars can make life seductively simple and effective, provided they truly act as our digital twin ‘dæmon’.
- From personal digital assistants to purchase tendencies auto-replenishment and travel preferences, an entire layer of personal representation is out there deciding things on our behalf.
- Where platforms like IFTTT and Apple Shortcuts already enable us to program routines to wake us up, turn on the lights and tell us the weather – or start a chronicle job backup of a database – we will group increasingly complex sets of routines and sequential functions and tasks.
- We are assigning personalities and human characters to these complex algorithms through avatars. General purpose, generic personas embodied by named routines from Siri to Alexa and even Samsung’s Bixby represent early examples of these capabilities.
- Our digital intermediaries – our avatars – living out in the digital world are representing our individual needs with brands, services and systems on our behalf.
- Graphics, CGi, 3D and VR design tools enable avatars to come to life in photorealistic ways.
- We will rely on avatars that reduce all complexity of the digital ecosystems that surround us and transfer existing metaphors – personal assistants, financial advisors, personal stylists – to these algorithms. They offer advice, negotiate and decide on our behalf and we offload task assignments that become increasingly complex to manage all aspects of our daily lives.
- From auto-replenishing groceries, to ensuring a new winter wardrobe is ready, or even managing a personal calendar – we will have many personalized and named avatars to operate on our behalf in many differing situations.
- Alexawill monitor our homes, a digital assistant will research data for our consideration at work, a chatbot will book travel and Bank of America’s Erica will manage our banking relationships and responsibilities.
- Amazon’s Alexa now features actor Samuel L. Jackson as a ‘celebrity voice’, acting as your very special personal assistant – with or without profanity.
- Avatars will become like personal employees and collaborators to simplify our new connected landscape, who facilitate our personal, familial, social and economic responsibilities.
- Surprising sales swings will be a result of avatars reacting to cultural fads and trends rapidly and at scale on our behalf. Exponential sales increases or decreases will occur due to avatars chasing or avoiding trends whilst trying to beat others to get the next must-have limited edition or dodge a brand that messed up.
- Blatant and increased predictable loyalty will ensue as avatars commit our preferences to repeatable purchases, propensity to choose one brand over another, and seasonal habits. Brands will find deeper commitments from the avatars that codify preferences for them.
- Rise of “Personal Information Management” systems or PIMs (not to be confused with “Product Information Management” PIMs), will manage privacy and consent preferences on behalf of individuals and organizations, evolved over time from today’s social media and messaging platforms.
- 2020 will be the year that CDP (Customer data Management Platforms) solutions emerge in force from SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobeand others.
- Chatbots, conversational and personal avatars: Alexa and Siri, Ok Google, Bank of America’s Erica, Sephora’s personal assistant, Lemonade’s Insurance sales agent, Slack bots in business, Facebook messenger, Apple’s iMessageand WeChat
- ML/AI: Microsoft Cognitive Services, IBM Watson APIs,
- Cloud and SAAS models that engage at the edge: Adobe, Salesforce and SAP