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Discover the future of AI and voice search

There is no such thing as a typical Wednesday here at the TSG head office as there is always something exciting to work upon. However, iProspect's Future Focus event took me away from my head office desk based within the Quorum Business Park and into the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. 

Attending events is something I have done a lot over the years, so it takes something special to tempt me away from the buzz of the TSG office. 

My ears pricked up when I heard that there were going to be interesting speakers from several well-established companies including Google, Fetch, Sky and Twitter.

However, when I heard that Rich Brant, Advanced Advertising Controller and Rufina Lawani, Sales Controller from Sky were going to host a talk called ‘Understand how Sky are using data and technology to deliver relevant messaging that enhances experiences and adds value to all’, I had to pop down to find out more. 

Starting with registrations, networking and a spot of lunch my anticipation for the coming talks had grown and it would seem everyone in the reception lobby room was feeling the same. 

Attendees were ushered into the Baltic first floor auditorium and were greeted with an opening speech from Managing Partner of Dentsu Aegis Network, Steve Underwood. 

Setting the tone for the event, Steve brought a range of interesting facts to the table which all focused on the future of technology and its impact on both businesses and consumers. 

Highlighting the fact 2/3 of children in schools will leave and progress into a job that does not currently exist brought an optimistic look on the future of technology. 

Steve’s perspective is one I welcome with open arms, as the future of technology is opening doors for new and innovative solutions and job roles alike.

This is a very alternative and positive outlook opposed to current headlines such as: The rise of robots could lead to unemployment rates greater than 50 per cent, according to Professor Moshe Vardi.

Connecting with consumers using AI and messaging.

James Lodge from Fetch took to the stage following on with the key topic of AI and, of course, the future. James, who is Director of Mobile at Fetch provided a brief overview of mobile apps and how they are used. Stating that 80% of current users only use 3 apps, one of which are used for messaging, it is clear to see why Facebook is developing exciting ways for brands to communicate with consumers through its very own messaging service. 

Naturally, the conversation effortlessly flowed onto chatbots and the increase in popularity. It’s no surprise considering chatbots are estimated to save businesses $8billlion by 2022. 

Take Tommy Hilfiger for example. Already a step above the rest, Tommy Hilfiger has fully embraced the conversation commerce movement by incorporating a chatbot service powered by AI which assists consumers with queries and allows them to shop via Facebook Messenger.

If that hasn’t blown your mind, then the next part of my blog highlighting AI & automation certainly will.  

If you’re like me you will have come across a voice-assisted device, perhaps you own an Amazon Echo or a Google Home? 

My experience with my Amazon Echo, which runs on Microsoft Cortana, was short-lived when I realised that I had to have an Amazon Prime or a Spotify Premium account to operate the functions I was most likely to use. 

As with any product, new technologies take time to develop and of course there will be tweaks that need to be amended in order meet and even exceed consumer expectations.

Times have changed since the UK release back in 2016 and so has voice search technology. 

Radek Kowalski, Head of SEO at iProspect, took to the stage later in the event and highlighted the use of voice today and tomorrow as below:

Voice Today

• +33% US Consumers Using Digital Assistants Weekly
• 50B Voice Searches Per Month
• 10s of M Alexa Devices Sold

Voice Tomorrow

• $7.3B Retail Spending using Voice by 2022
• 200B Voice Search Per Month by 2020
• 70m US Households with Smart Speakers by 2022

With such strong figures and an obvious need to develop voice search further, Radek went onto show us Google Duplex’s preparations for the up-and-coming movement. 

Prepare to be amazed as the video below shows a solid example of how Google has studied the possibilities of voice AI and the needs of its consumers to fundamentally change the way we communicate. 

How to prepare for the revolutionary search functionality today? 

Most companies including TSG are already embracing digital transformations with a clear future focus in mind which means you are already on your way to futureproofing your business; but here are a few tips from the iProspect experts

1. Open the conversation up with new ways of communicating
2. Make sure your website fundamentals are working before moving onto personalisation, this can include site speed.
3. Make the most of your data!
4. Optimise your website and videos as any SEO text used must work with both the content and activity of a voice search user. 

The iProspect Future Focus event also covered several topics including social media which TSG’s social media editor Natasha B covers in her blog: Twitter: The GIF(t) that keeps on giving.

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