It’s the year 2031.

How old will you be?

Picture, for a moment, what you will look like, and your business will be like ten years from now.

Scary? When I did that, I thought, wow, I hope I am at least fit and well.

How you serve clients ten years from now will be different as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to play an increasingly critical part in our future.

The first AI-enabled “coaches” — a chatbot named ELIZA — was built in the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the 1960s and programmed to simulate a session with a psychotherapist using basic natural language processing technology.

When ELIZA was first introduced, some users thought they were chatting with an actual human, which has evolved into familiar examples like Alexa, Siri and Google Assist, which use machine learning technologies to function.

And increasingly, chatbots are now being used as the first stage of customer engagement on Social Media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, Youtube, blog posts and websites.

It’s effective, saves time, money and will make a massive difference in how we engage with clients in the future. Many firms are developing chatbot strategies. It would be prudent to give designing a chatbot strategy some thought.

I recently inquired about a car online, and at one stage, it felt like I was talking to a real person but realised that it was a chatbot.

Our lives will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 250 years. And so, ten years from now, how you deliver your service will be very different.

As Brett King (Augmented) said, “the only possible hope for human advisers is that they co-opt machine intelligence into their process.” I agree.

The question is – how can machines and humans work together and use their respective strengths in the best possible way?

In the next 5-10 years, fortune will favour companies that develop digital strategies which ’embrace’ the changes Ai will bring.

For instance, Ai assistant coaches will collate data about your clients (from their watches, app or other technologies) and feedback summaries so the session(s) can be more focused.

In my view, clarity in positioning will be even more important and focusing on developing soft skills like listening, influencing, and mentoring – will be the competitive differentiator, while some form of Ai technology will be the ‘data’ gatherer.

How AI is used to engage and help clients achieve the results they want will make all the difference.