Will AI Replace Humans?

Will AI Replace Humans?

AI, like any other invention, is a tool. Whether it’s a force of good or an agent of chaos depends on the way we use it. However, the aptness that any AI-based technology provides is undeniable, Yet the question remains the same:

Will AI Replace Humans?

The Purpose Behind the development of AI-based customer service:

Customer service has always been an intense business process and as companies scaled up, they realised that the ratio of available service agents to customers, was way off. Traditional channels like emails and calls had a higher response time and in a market where customers wanted instant problem resolution; neither was faring well with the masses. and that’s where AI comes into the picture. AI-based Customer Service is capable of having basic conversations with customers and addressing commonly asked questions. With an AI in place, enterprises can cut down on operational costs (hiring & managing large service teams) while yielding better results on the customer service front.

However, there’s a catch.

AI customer service is a relatively new piece of technology which is still in the development phase. The technology behind it hasn’t sufficiently developed to answer complex problems or have in-depth meaningful conversations. Sure there’s NLP & machine learning, but the intricacies of language, semantics & situational context are still being mapped for implementations.

AI customer service is great when the conversation takes place in accordance with the program’s understanding. However, communication often varies among individuals and to assume that people will ask a common query in a similar manner is ludicrous.
let me explain it with an example: Here’s a simple & commonly asked question- “Why is my internet not working?”

Logically, this is the most common way used by customers to ask this question. But some customers might use passive voice or hyperbole to ask the same question:

“I think something is wrong with my internet”

“You’ve sold me a defective router!”

“Your product doesn’t work, give me a refund”

In all of these instances, the customers have a similar problem (faulty/unresponsive product). The manner in which they are asking their question, however, varies drastically. We aren’t at the point in AI-development where Automated customer service can successfully understand tone and context, without any pre-programming or prompts. And because you’re dealing with a dissatisfied/possibly angry customer, saying the wrong thing could lead to a really bad service experience.

Nobody wants that, period.

Additionally, it is unreasonable to expect a developer or a conversational copywriter to program every permutation & combination of commonly asked questions. Language, tone & grammar are often influenced by cultural & geographical factors so the wider the audience base is, the more combinations to be found and programmed into the chatbot or any other AI tech. That’s simply impossible and a needlessly costly endeavour.

So, Will AI Replace Humans in Customer Service?

No, humans will not be replaced by AI. AI human machine replacement
But it won’t be only due to the technological challenges, but something more profound.

It’ll be due to Emotions. AI human machine replacement

Customer service isn’t about problem resolution or engagement. It isn’t about maintaining a brand image or handing out phenomenal user experiences. At the heart of it, customer service is about emotional resonance. AI human machine replacement

When customers call/email/message a company, they have an issue they want to be addressed quickly. They want to be heard and for their complaint to be acknowledged by the company. Feeling valued is a trait that customers respond more to than satisfaction. When customers know that their thoughts and opinions are valued, they will be incentivised to continue using the service.

AI is unable to form these emotional connections by themselves. If a customer is upset based on their tone, the AI won’t be capable of identifying this, unless it’s pre-programmed to identify specific words/connotations. This results in unhappy customers which is obviously not the end goal of customer service.

Complete reliance on AI is out of the question because there will be instances where the machine won’t be capable of resolving complicated queries. These are situations where human agents will have to intervene to provide an acceptable resolution. Even if the issue cannot be resolved, a human agent will be more capable of empathising with a customer than a robot.

The Road Ahead

The sections above might paint a bleak picture of AI, but the future of this technology is very bright. Instead of looking at them as something that’ll replace humans, it’s time to start looking at them as an assisting solution.

AI do help in answering and resolving most common queries and constant developments in AI technology are making them smarter by the day. With the added bonus of 24×7 availability, self-service options & multiple query handling, AI is an excellent addition to a customer support team & a must-have.

Until such time when a robot can understand the complexities of language and semantics & implement it flawlessly in customer communications, they’ll certainly not be replacing the human customer service agent.

If & when Artificial Intelligence manages to do so, I for one, will welcome our new AI overlords!

This Article is contributed by Azkiya Siddique, who is an aspiring Psychologist who is in quest of understanding how humans work….When not procrastinating, she’s likely to be found reading about spooky stuff and history. She has opinions on a lot of things, but mostly writes about psychology and lifestyle and occasionally on historical events.


Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in The Brew Opinion – our opinion section – are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheBrew.ae, the company, or any of its members

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