AI is big news these days. From the prevalence of Amazon’s Alexa devices, of which tens of millions were sold in the 2017 holiday period alone, to the rise of self-driving cars and robots capable of providing superior healthcare diagnostics, the presence of AI is only set to increase.
The last couple of years have also seen major developments in ‘machine learning’, especially those using neural networks to attempt to learn and improve performance through the consideration of examples rather than task-specific programming. The implications of such powerful machines are significant, causing Google to announce a new AI ethics unit to analyse the impact of the new technology on society.
As AI begins to change the nature of the workplace, we’re excited to consider the possibilities the technology may have in store for the relocations industry.
As artificial intelligence grows stronger, we get closer to the possibility of AI chatbots which are indistinguishable from their human counterparts. This would be massively advantageous, with such a chatbot being available at any time, able to answer questions immediately and in different languages, and allowing the humans to focus time on other tasks. Thanks to its perfect recall and endless storage, a machine can track and analyse huge swathes of data, and then draw attention to trends and opportunities which will allow it to provide a greater level of service to its customers. A customer with access to such an advanced virtual assistant would find the process of moving far easier, as the machine would be able to identify potential obstacles, establish the simplest plan and perhaps even provide assistance with the filing of necessary paperwork!
Earlier this year the government announced that driverless lorries would be trialled on UK roads in 2018, following successful trials in the US and Europe. These vehicles alone could make a major difference to the industry, for example they would not be subject to government regulations which limit how long drivers can travel for before having to stop for rest breaks. A driverless truck can drive through day and night, dramatically shortening the delivery time.
Such vehicles would also be a huge positive in terms of safety, as given that the vast majority of crashes on our roads are due to human error, the removal of the human component will allow for safer roads, cheaper insurance and reduced repair costs. Another advantage is environmental, as automated trucks will most likely travel in fleets, communicating throughout the journey in order to coordinate pace and stick closely together, reducing air resistance and thus improving fuel economy.
Clearly there is real potential for AI to heavily influence the relocations industry, and it will likely prove the case that the companies within the industry which are able to quickly and successfully adopt this technology will be the ones who prosper most in the years ahead. We’re excited to see what advances 2018 may bring!