AI Blurs the Lines Between Reality and Hyper-Reality to Revolutionize Customer Engagement

As a market leader in innovation, Netflix has built a business platform that shapes what customers watch, not just how they watch programs. Netflix launched in 1998 as the world’s first online DVD rental store. Initially, it operated similar to its bricks-and-mortar rival, Blockbuster—until streaming movies became more feasible and cost-effective. Netflix recognized a new opportunity and welcomed disruption, whereas Blockbuster never regained its market. In a few years, Netflix grew to the largest source of internet streaming in the US and now also develops original content.

No Resting on AI Laurels

In 2018, Netflix offered a “choose your own adventure” interactive experience with video content. It presents a vision for interactive television, particularly with the release of its Black Mirror movie, Bandersnatch, which blurs the lines between film and game. Customers become active participants whose choices not only impact the story but also their journey as Netflix customers.

By collecting data and insights from its programming, Netflix can develop and offer increasingly relevant, personalized content. These types of interactive experiences change the way we engage, and with that engagement come massive new opportunities.

Interactive content on television—a device that’s ubiquitous in living rooms—acts as a stepping stone. It’s moving us from virtual and augmented reality to the world of hyper-reality, further blurring the lines between simulation and reality.

Build More Intimate Customer Relationships With Affective Computing

Netflix innovation offers important insights into how new market trends develop and the changing role of customer engagement. It’s also evident with the growth of affective computing, which tries to recognize human sensory input and learn from it, including moods, timing, feelings, and attitudes. Some wristband technologies do this as they attempt to understand users’ emotional cues through vital signs.

Different emotions cause different behaviors, and insights into those emotions have an enormous potential impact on purchasing decisions. The market for emotion detection and recognition technology is predicted to grow consistently, reaching a value of $65 billion by 2023.

A bot designed for affective computing uses machine learning to emulate human emotions in a way that feels natural. This makes humans more likely to engage—even when they know it’s simulated emotion from a bot. These forms of AI are more palatable to humans as we speak to them or receive information from them. And they’re much more than speech recognition and voice.

Google Duplex, an AI virtual assistant system, uses machine learning to continually adapt its conversations with humans, such as when it makes appointments on behalf of a human. Duplex has learned speech patterns that include natural pauses and uniquely human sounds like “um” and “hmmm” in conversations. The longer in use, the more natural it feels. As a result, Duplex becomes a trustworthy form of AI and a seamless experience for customers who engage with it.

High Engagement and Human Emotion

AI and AI-powered automation helps businesses accomplish real-world tasks with hyper-real technology—more efficiently and effectively. These technologies are changing almost every aspect of how we live, work and engage with our customers. Commit to ongoing innovation with an eye on trends that perform more work for your business.

Please join me and Kate Leggett from Forrester Research in a webinar on The Three Customer Service Megatrends In 2019 as we delve into current megatrends.

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