The convergence of Conversational and Generative AI is a groundbreaking opportunity for retailers to unlock the full potential of...
Conversational AI for the Good of People
Harnessing the power of conversational AI has the potential to improve society by enhancing the efficiency and availability of public services.
Harnessing the power of digital technology has the potential to revolutionize all our lives. While its seemingly limitless capabilities might appear obvious to many of us, digital technology also has the ability to empower the lives of people who may be disadvantaged. It holds the key to creating a world that is not only fairer and more peaceful but also fosters a truly just society.
Conversational AI and Its Potential to Improve People's Lives
Technology companies all around the world have produced an apparent never-ending wave of tech-based breakthroughs. However, not all set the bar for social good in the same way. Conversational AI, on the other hand, is a digital technology that truly has the power to shape and transform lives for the better. By enabling the conversational automation of tasks previously completed by hand, it has the potential to increase inclusion and access to services that were previously difficult or impossible to access.
This article looks at how conversational AI impacts lives for the betterment of society in the healthcare, public, housing, and education sectors, increasing their efficiency, productivity and service availability, reducing costs, and opening new opportunities for growth that were previously denied to them.
How Is Conversational AI Revolutionizing the Healthcare Sector?
It is no secret that since the pandemic, healthcare providers the world over are experiencing a surge in demand for their services at a time when they are simultaneously coming under increasing cost pressures and a significant shortfall in healthcare professionals. The World Health Organization, for example, estimates there will be a healthcare workforce gap of around 14.5 million by 2030. This will have a significant impact on care.
Not only do healthcare providers have to contend with new care protocols, staffing issues, and reduced budgets, but their patients, who are used to experiencing exceptional digital services in their daily lives, expect a top-class, available and transparent digital healthcare service in addition.
Today, conversational AI is revolutionizing healthcare by using intelligent virtual assistants. By deploying conversational AI, healthcare professionals can provide a superior service at a much-reduced cost, freeing healthcare professionals to spend more time delivering clinical care. For example, patients can use a conversational AI assistant to book healthcare appointments 24/7. A healthcare virtual AI assistant can not only help a prospective patient book a healthcare appointment, but it can also collect patient data and automatically feed it into the healthcare providers' administrative systems, thus saving considerable time and cost.
DRUID virtual assistants help patients schedule doctor appointments in a natural manner while integrating with any core healthcare system to offer 24/7 availability and a seamless patient and employee experience.
When admitted to a hospital, the virtual assistant can send notifications or alerts about appointments, prescriptions to patients, or it can automatically collect patient data that can aid advanced, speedier health analysis. It can also provide answers to patient questions 24/7, which can provide comfort and support to patients when a healthcare professional is not available.
Once a patient is released from the hospital, the healthcare team can easily manage invoicing through conversational flows. Where there is a delay in payment by a patient, the virtual AI assistant can automatically send helpful reminders to them and collect payment using a conversational interface that can be linked directly to the healthcare provider's financial systems.
Watch Kieran Gilmurray and his guest Joe Nieto - Customer Engagement Director at Element Blue, as they explore the current healthcare challenges and how conversational AI technology is helping solve a big part of them in our DRUID Talks podcast.
Personalized Education and Learning
The US education sector is 600+ years old and steeped in history. Today, the higher education sector is facing challenges from many directions. For example, students now have access to an abundance of online learning opportunities, meaning the education sector is facing an increasingly competitive battle with digital learning platforms. The opportunity to utilize digital technology platforms to streamline administrative tasks and deliver personalized support, education and services is not one that should be missed. Many higher education institutions have taken advantage of conversational AI to make their education services more accessible.
Conversational AI Assistants Provide Students with Instant Access to Administrative or Financial Support
They can assist with queries related to admissions, course registration, financial aid, campus facilities, or academic resources. By offering prompt and accurate responses, conversational tools (which can be made available online or via mobile phones) can enhance student satisfaction and reduce the burden on academic administrative staff.
Conversational AI Can Assist Students with Non-academic Inquiries Related to Campus Life
These inquiries can refer to housing, dining, transportation, and extracurricular activities. A conversational AI assistant can provide information about events, clubs, support services and resources available on campus, making it easier for students to navigate and utilize university services.
Conversational AI Enable Educational Institutions to Engage Students in Interactive and Dynamic Ways
For example, intelligent virtual assistants can facilitate online discussions, deliver course-related content or updates, and even provide virtual tutoring. By incorporating gamification elements and interactive features, they promote active learning opportunities and increase student engagement.
Conversational AI Assistants Help Automate Administrative Tasks
Some of these tasks refer to registration, fee payment, and transcript requests. This streamlines processes, reduces paperwork, and minimizes student service wait times. It allows administrative staff to focus on more complex matters and provide better support to students and faculty.
Conversational AI Platforms Help Generate Valuable Data about Student Interactions
Institutions can analyze data gathered from interactions with students to gain insights into their needs, preferences, and challenges. These insights can inform decision-making processes, curriculum improvements, and student support initiatives and ultimately enhancing the overall student educational experience.
Conversational AI assistants have the potential to transform the higher education sector by empowering students, optimizing administrative processes, creating opportunities for personalized education learning experiences and improving student experiences.
Watch Kieran Gilmurray and his guest, Jim Walker - a leading 32-year expert in the technology, public sector, military, and higher education sectors exploring the 600-year-old higher education sector in the US in our DRUID Talks podcast.
Empowering the Public Sector
Engaging customers and then keeping them engaged is a key question for all organizations. Every successful organization recognizes that it is in the business of customer service, and that includes the public sector. It is no longer enough to compete on products and services; instead, it is how an organization delivers that is key.
According to McKinsey, consumers of public services gave their service provider an average rating of 5.5 out of 10. While other industries that best please their customers are likely to receive an average score of 8 out of 10. Public service organizations must therefore recognize that they need to do more to meet the demand of their consumers.
Conversational AI has emerged as a powerful tool for empowering the public sector. For example, by leveraging digital assistants, government bodies and public institutions can enhance their service delivery, engage with their citizens more effectively, and streamline their administrative services.
Conversational AI Assistants Provide Instant, 24/7 Automated Responses to Citizen Inquiries
For example, one of the key benefits of conversational AI is its ability to provide instant and personalized answers 24/7. Digital assistants can handle a wide variety of inquiries, from basic information requests about refuse collection to complex transactional interactions about financial hardship assistance.
By offering round-the-clock support, digital assistants can ensure that citizens have access to the services they need at their convenience, without the limitations of traditional office hours. This is particularly important for people who may not be physically able to attend public sector organizations' offices.
Conversational AI Assistants Help Automate Administrative Tasks
Conversational AI can significantly improve the efficiency of government bodies and public institutions' operations. It can automate repetitive tasks, such as form filling or appointment scheduling, freeing up valuable time and resources for government and public sector employees to focus on more critical and strategic initiatives. This not only increases productivity but also enables the public sector to deliver services in a more timely and cost-effective manner.
Conversational AI Supports Data-Driven Decision-Making
Furthermore, conversational AI can play a vital role in data-driven decision-making within the public sector. By analyzing and interpreting service user interactions, governments can gain valuable insights into citizens' needs, preferences, and concerns. This data-driven approach enables policymakers to make more informed decisions, prioritize resources effectively, and tailor public services to serve the community better.
Overall, conversational AI empowers the public sector by enhancing citizen services, optimizing operations, improving engagement, and enabling data-driven governance. As conversational AI continues to advance, its potential to revolutionize the way governments interact with citizens and deliver public services will only grow stronger.
Watch Kieran Gilmurray and his guest, Laetitia Cailleteau, Data&AI Europe Lead for Accenture, as they explore the intricacies of conversational AI and how it has helped citizens in Ireland, in our DRUID Talks podcast.
Assisting Independent Living and Well-Being
Around the globe, people are experiencing significant pressure when it comes to finding affordable housing. The housing crisis, the Ukraine war, fuel price rises, and rising inflation are all eroding lower-income households’ ability to afford rental properties.
In the UK, traditionally, housing associations are not-for-profit organizations that have been set up to provide social housing and support services to almost 6 million homes. They offer social homes, shared ownership homes, homes to rent or buy, supported and specialist housing. They are a critical £8.4tn component of the UK macroeconomic environment.
Although it has not been easy, housing associations have shown remarkable resiliency in the face of everything that has been thrown at them. By adopting a digital-first approach, housing associations are able to provide better services at a more cost-effective rate.
For example, housing associations are responsible for maintaining and repairing their housing stock. This can be costly, time-consuming, and upsetting for both residents and staff. As their housing stock gets older, maintenance costs can increase, meaning housing associations may struggle to keep up with repairs in an affordable manner. This is, unfortunately, happening at a time when there are significant staff turnovers, rising costs, recruitment shortages, increasing regulatory requirements and a growing number of residents with diverse needs.
Conversational AI assistants are playing a significant role in empowering housing associations in the UK. They are being developed to streamline operations, enhance resident services, and improve their overall operational efficiency.
Conversational AI Assistants Provide Instant, 24/7 Automated Responses to Resident Inquiries
They can handle a wide range of queries related to tenancy agreements, repairs, rent payments, and general information. By offering secure, quick and accurate support, virtual AI assistants reduce response times and alleviate the burden on housing association contact centre teams. Round-the-clock availability ensures that urgent issues can be addressed promptly, even outside normal office hours. Residents can report maintenance problems, book appointments, or seek information whenever it is convenient for them, leading to improved resident satisfaction.
Conversational AI Assistants Provide Residents with Self-Help Resources
Virtual AI assistants help residents find instant answers to various queries, providing them with self-help resources such as FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and information about local or specific government or housing association services. They can also offer guidance on tenancy rights, responsibilities, and community engagement initiatives. This comprehensive support empowers residents to find answers and solutions independently, therefore fostering self-sufficiency and awareness.
Conversational AI Platforms Help Generate Valuable Data
Conversational AI platforms can generate valuable data about interactions, allowing housing associations to analyze patterns, identify common issues, and gain insights into residents' needs. This data-driven approach can inform decision-making, improve service offerings, and enhance overall resident experiences.
Conversational AI Assistants Help Optimize Resources
Conversational AI has the potential to revolutionize resident interactions and services within housing associations. By automating routine inquiries and tasks, chatbots help housing associations optimize resources and reduce costs. This way, staff can focus on solving complex resident issues and strategic initiatives instead of spending time on repetitive administrative tasks. This increased efficiency leads to improved productivity, cost and resource allocation.
We all have a desire to communicate and be treated fairly. Conversational AI offers a solution to revolutionize the lives of those who may be at a disadvantage or marginalized in some way. It holds the key to creating a world that is not only fairer and more peaceful but also fosters a truly just society.
Conversational AI opens an endless stream of possibilities for everyone to engage with the public and healthcare sectors, education institutions or housing associations in a meaningful way. Whilst on the surface, this may not seem revolutionary to you – it is a lifeline to many people to gain access to the same services as you – and for them, that is revolutionary!