The next wave of digital technologies is on the way, and it promises to change our lives as dramatically as the smartphone did, says Ernst Wittmann, Global account director MEA & country manager – Southern Africa, at Alcatel. “We’re seeing technologies such as chatbots, augmented reality and video that has transformed the way we use our mobile devices,” he said.

Wittmann underlined several mobile and digital trends that are likely to unfold during 2018. Artificial Intelligence and chatbots Artificial intelligence and chatbots will continue to mature next year, making it easier than ever for people to interact with technology and to carry out complex tasks.

Powered by machine learning (computer systems that learn from experience without being programmed) and Artificial Intelligence, natural language processing allows us to speak or type to computers in our usual sentences, simplifying our interface with devices and apps. Robo-advisors are already a hot trend in financial services—these are smart bots that give wealth management advice on a website or mobile app.

Gartner forecasts that such chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020. Virtual assistants that live on your smartphone are also becoming increasingly popular.

One example is Google Assistant, which lets you ask for directions to the nearest Chinese restaurant, send messages, check appointments, and so on, using your voice. “We’ll use voice recognition and chatbots for applications as diverse as seeking technical support for a new washing machine to making a mortgage application to seeking investment advice. Read more from businesstech.co.za…

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