The Evolution of Digital Assistants

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Technology

Let’s start with the end in mind. Better yet, let’s start with the end in the mind’s eye: the evolution of Digital Assistants pictured as a basic 2-axis chart.

It’s pretty straightforward. 

  • The X-axis measures a Digital Assistant’s intelligence. 
  • The Y-axis measures the richness and sophistication of its user experience.

IQ on the X Axis 

The IQ/intelligence/smarts axis considers both Natural Language Understanding and Automation, i.e., the extent to which the Digital Assistant can understand the user’s intent and act on it. In a way, this measure of “smarts” is like with a dog: Can it understand my commands and then act on them, like retrieving my slippers? A truly smart dog can do that, just as a high IQ DA can understand what I’m asking of it and then execute a real task to satisfy my request. 

Plus, DAs must act independently of agent control, else they are mere live-chat widgets. For that, they must have intelligence. 

They should also accomplish tasks for their human: take an order, make an appointment, accept a payment, else they are mere FAQ readers. They must automatically execute a business process task, aka Business Process Automation.

In short, they must be AI driven and action oriented. The higher their IQ, the better. 

UX on the Y Axis

User experience is everything, even more important than IQ. If Apple Design taught us anything, it’s that beautiful design leads to beaucoup engagement. And engagement is what we want.

Apple also taught us that textual interfaces tire out humans – quickly and permanently. We humans are evolutionarily evolved to communicate conversationally, but not necessarily textually. 

We crave shortcuts, pictures and gestures. Occasionally we crave sizzle. In our weaker moments, we want memes. Left to basic instinct, we badly want to swipe right.

That’s why we need a Graphical UI, a GUI per Steve Jobs. His Apple revolutionized the computer world with the first widely successful GUI – the Mac. And then he got fired and then returned and then did a few other things and then introduced one more thing, the first widely successful GUI phone – the iPhone. And that changed the world.

In that spirit, Pypestream cross-pollinated a Conversational AI with a GUI to create the world’s first Conversational GUI, what we’re now calling an Engagement Interface. 

Whatever it’s called, will it too change the world? It’s heading that way.

High IQ + Max UX = Engagement Interface 

Said differently, put high IQ together with max UX to get Digital Assistants with an Engagement Interface. 

Pypestream is the SaaS company behind these highly evolved Digital Assistants. They power automated self-service for customers, prospects, employees, applicants, commuters, travelers, constituents, patients and other important cohorts of people. And, these aren’t just any AI enabled conversations. They include helpful automations that accomplish important tasks and deliver real value to real humans. 

Those automations, along with how the engagement interface presents, are dynamically driven by cloud-based microapps from the Pypestream platform.

These Digital Assistants operate on every important channel today. The richest is the Engagement Interface called a Pype, typically connected to a website. But, the same smarts and automation runs on Messenger, WhatsApp, Texting/SMS, Apple bChat & Google bMessages. 

Given that, let’s expand the above equation to include automation and omnichannel.

High IQ + Max UX + Helpful Automation + Every Channel = Pypestream DAs

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