AI and ecommerce: are fake humans a customer experience solution?

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New Zealand based AI company Soul Machines have just entered a 5 year-long partnership with Microsoft that will take the use of autonomously animated digital people to new levels but with this announcement comes the question; Will consumers enjoy interacting with fake humans?

Last year Soul Machines wrote an article on how AI humans can help businesses provide a great customer experience that drives loyalty. With the company now looking at a major partnership we could start seeing Artificial Intelligence pop up a whole lot more within ecommerce especially as businesses try to find more ways to create an engaging experience for customers who are craving face-to-face interactions.

Similar to virtual chatbots, Artificial Intelligence in the shape of a human can provide customers with a friendly human-like face to answer questions and host live shopping events. To stand out against existing AI, lifelike AI can be set up to display and recognize the emotional cues of humans whilst driving customer loyalty through the use of the simple psychology of a friendly face.

My own thoughts are directed towards this could reduce business costs through an always available non-human solution and how this solution could remove the natural challenges faced with human interaction. It is also important to consider bias, if a business’s AI is programmed exactly how they want it to be could this create even more barriers for trust?

You can find out more about Soul Machines and their partnership with Microsoft here.

For us, this is about innovating with AI to support humanity. As the world increasingly uses digital technologies like AI to address major global challenges or provide better services and more equitable access, collaboration on what this future looks like is essential. AI should be a force for good. We are delighted Soul Machine chose Azure AI for their products and services. Partnering with Soul Machines is a tremendously important opportunity to learn from each other and co-innovate new solutions that make life easier and better for people around the world, as we share a common vision

– Ali Dalloul, General Manager Strategy and Commercialization, Azure and AI Platform, Microsoft


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