The AI trends to watch out for in 2021

Without a doubt, the past year will go down as one of the strangest in living memory. COVID-19, the American elections, we even had Liverpool win the Premier League title for the first time in 30 years. Imagine that. But I digress. The year began with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, radically altering how we do pretty much everything, from our work commitments to how we interact in broader society as a whole. Think face masks, social distancing and a lot of working from home. We all know the drill by now. As 2020 draws to a close and with many question marks still surrounding the long-term effects of this year long break from normality, artificial intelligence (AI) has steadily begun to play a more prominent role in our daily lives.

Now, artificial intelligence has been a buzzword for a long time, particularly if you work in the marketing automation world. However, its impact, particularly in the branch of AI known as machine learning (ML), is about to take on a leading role as the world begins to build back and adjust following the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, we highlight some of the AI trends in 2021 that will shape all of our futures, dictating what the new way of life will look like for businesses and individuals alike.

AI Data Driven Strategies and Forecasting

First up on our list and in many ways, the easiest of the examples to highlight. AI powered, data driven strategies. Without even thinking about it, you can already give me an example in the UK, the NHS Test and Trace system. Whilst technically not a new phenomenon, this year has highlighted the importance of handling vast arrays of data records and anticipating appropriate actions. This has effectively been the driving strategy behind most government’s responses to the global pandemic, with the data and its subsequent interpretation dictating areas most at risk, leading to regional lockdowns or as we’re currently seeing, a nation-wide circuit breaker in the UK.

So what does this mean for businesses? Well, the extrapolation of data banks will allow companies to better forecast and hence, make smarter decisions off relevant, AI driven information. Through artificial intelligence, firms will be able to quickly and efficiently identify opportunities from sales and customer behaviours, presenting accurate forecasts to help teams make critical company decisions.

If you’re a customer of ours, then you’ll know the steps that Spotler has taken in the last few years to implement AI capabilities into our marketing automation software. If you’re not a customer, take a look at our AI page to see how artificial intelligence elements in our marketing software can help you accurately predict how to better convert your leads or prospects.

Behavioural Predictors, the Business Benchmark of the future

If we’ve had one thing confirmed over the last 12 months, it’s the pressing need to go digital. If the trend pre-pandemic was a push from businesses to make use of all the available digital channels out there, the post-pandemic world has made it a necessity. Zoom stocks have spiked over 100% since January of this year, e-Commerce giant Amazon tripled its profits in the same period and the UK e-Commerce sector is forecast to grow 34.5% by 2023. Add in to the mix that most of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future and it becomes clearer that companies will have to majorly re-adjust their practices in order to remain competitive.

Luckily, there are plenty of AI tools out there to help businesses recalibrate their efforts to this new reality. Of course, the digital transformation is only part of the process, with an increasingly competitive online marketplace, the use of AI in personalisation strategies will be vital to detecting consumer behavioural trends and will aid firms in their bid to gain a competitive advantage.

Conversational AI and Human Interactions

OK, so it’s not quite Blade Runner but AI to human interactions will be taking to a whole new level come 2021. Most companies already have some form of AI running, for example, chat boxes set up to assist website visitors but the limitations are there for all to see. You never feel like you’re talking to anything other than a machine.

The typical AI chat box will be replaced by other conversational ones, offering personalised responses, greater flexibility in advanced queries, with a much greater customer-centric focus. While products like Amazon’s Alexa currently cover the consumer AI market, expect 2021 to bring changes to the business side too as firms invest heavily specific AI tools that aim to improve internal processes.

As the global pandemic continues to roll through and disrupt every aspect of normal life, it continues to open up opportunities for disruptive technological solutions to fill the vacuum left behind. With human behaviour being forced to shift to new realities, artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role in the months and years to come.

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