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Designing Customer Centered AI experiences - Dialogkonferansen 2018

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Designing Customer Centered AI experiences - Dialogkonferansen 2018

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This presentation discusses why artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be designed from a customer centered point of view, and provides three pillars to use as a foundation for how to do so.

This presentation discusses why artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be designed from a customer centered point of view, and provides three pillars to use as a foundation for how to do so.


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Designing Customer Centered AI experiences - Dialogkonferansen 2018

  1. 1. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences Dialogkonferansen Samantha Starmer 29 August, 2018 1
  2. 2. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 WHO AM I? 2 Formerly VP Global Digital Experiences, Ralph Lauren. Also Razorfish, REI, Microsoft, Amazon. I’m passionate about creating GREAT customer experiences, regardless of screen or device; online or offline.
  3. 3. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 IS THIS AI? 3 Image: Text; A robot is a container for AI, sometimes mimicking the human form, sometimes not—but the AI itself is the computer inside the robot. AI is the brain, and the robot is its body—if it even has a body.” Tim Urban, Writer/Illustrator and Co-Founder ‘Wait But Why’
  4. 4. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 BETTER? 4 “Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans” “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.” “Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines.” “1: a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers 2: the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior”
  5. 5. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 SHOULD WE CARE? 5 Text: Image: “In the past a lot of S&P 500 CEOs wished they had started thinking sooner than they did about their Internet strategy. I think five years from now there will be a number of S&P 500 CEOs that will wish they’d started thinking earlier about their AI strategy…“ Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist Baidu Research
  6. 6. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 SHOULD WE BE SCARED? 6 Text:, Reddit “AskMeAnything” thread, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department's 2014 Centennial Symposium., ,, “The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes…” Stephen Hawking “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.” Elon Musk "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence." Bill Gates “What all of us have to do is to make sure we are using AI in a way that is for the benefit of humanity, not to the detriment of humanity.” Tim Cook “The future belongs to artificial intelligence…who ever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” Vladimer Putun
  7. 7. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 OH SH*T 7 Text & Image: ; “the 21st century will achieve 1,000 times the progress of the 20th century.” Ray Kurzweil, Futurist
  8. 8. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 NOW WHAT? 8
  9. 9. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 WE MUST DESIGN CUSTOMER CENTERED AI 9 “You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology - not the other way around.” Steve Jobs Image: Text:
  10. 10. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 (AND BY ‘CUSTOMER’, I MEAN ALL HUMANS INTERACTING WITH AI) 10
  11. 11. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 TO BE CUSTOMER CENTERED - HELP HUMANS 11 Text and Image: Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text, and objects. Leveraging AI technology to expand and help our human lives is the first area of focus we should have.. Microsoft Seeing AI
  12. 12. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 (AND HELP AI TO HELP HUMANS!) 12 Text: “We should be asking not only what computers can do, but what computers should do. Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
  13. 13. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 WHO CAN AI BENEFIT? 13 Doctors at the radiology department of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital in China use an A.I. system to view CT scans as a way to diagnose lung cancers early on.
  14. 14. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 NOT JUST AUTOMATION… 14 Image: Text: “The introduction of automation technologies will be gradual, and the long-term potential for society is job creation rather than job losses…the potential to automate non-routine tasks is likely to remain limited.” Stockholm School of Economics, The Substitution of Labour
  15. 15. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 BUT AUGMENTATION 15 Image & Text: “Instead of thinking about AI as separate or adversarial to humans, it’s more helpful and accurate to think about machines augmenting our collective intelligence and society” Joi Ito, Director MIT Media Lab
  16. 16. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 COLLABORATION 16 Image & Text: “We think more jobs will completely change their activities than completely disappear. And so we’ll see more of these collaborations between machines and people.” Michael Chui, Partner McKinsey Global Institute
  17. 17. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 AMPLIFICATION 17 Image: ext: “Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before – as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial.“ Max Tegmark, President Future of Life Institute
  18. 18. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 AND EXTENSION 18 Image: Text: “Instead of thinking about machine intelligence in terms of humans vs. machines, we should consider the system that integrates humans and machines—not artificial intelligence, but extended intelligence.” Council on Extended Intelligence (IEEE Standards Association and the MIT Media Lab)
  19. 19. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW CAN WE DESIGN CUSTOMER CENTERED AI? 19
  20. 20. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 3 PRINCIPLES FOR CUSTOMER CENTERED AI 20 1. GO BEYOND GIMMICKS 2. FOCUS ON SERVICES 3. DON’T FORGET ETHICS
  21. 21. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 1. GO BEYOND GIMMICKS 21 “This is about as far as the nonhuman waiters can go at the Robot Magic Restaurant in Shanghai. After diners take photos and videos, regular waiters step in to serve the food.” Paul Mozur, Technology Reporter The New York Times
  22. 22. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Image: Text: PROVIDE VALUE FOR BUSINESS 22 “Using AI to personalize promotions can lead to a 1-2% increase in incremental sales…In advanced manufacturing…AI can improve forecasting accuracy by 10-20%. This translates into a potential 5% reduction in inventory costs and revenue increases of 2-3%.” Harvard Business Review
  23. 23. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Text and Image:, PROVIDE VALUE FOR EMPLOYEES 23 [LoweBot] “enables Lowe’s employees to devote their attention to more complex, human problems, like lending their expertise to a customer’s particular project, perhaps a troublesome leaky roof.” Gihad Jawhar, VP Digital Development, Lowes "If you are running up and down the aisle and you want to decide if we are out of Cheerios or not, a human doesn't do that job very well, and they don't like it.” Jeremy King, CTO Walmart
  24. 24. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Image & Text: PROVIDE VALUE FOR END CONSUMERS 24 "Sephora Virtual Artist is a really good example of where there was a real customer need. It can be overwhelming coming into our stores or shopping online, but this makes it easy to help you find your favorite shade and save you time.” Mary Beth Laughton, Executive Vice President Sephora
  25. 25. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Text & Image: PROVIDE VALUE FOR COMMUNITIES 25 “Before entering restrooms in the park, visitors must now stare into a computer mounted on the wall for three seconds before a machine dispenses a sheet of toilet paper, precisely two feet in length. If visitors require more, they are out of luck.” Javier C. Hernández, The New York Times
  27. 27. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW? MEASURE THE RIGHT THINGS 27 Text” 40% 28% 21% The most-cited business benefits corporate leaders see from AI include: Increased productivity But don’t forget potential customer benefits, for example: Reduced operating costs Improved speed to market Increased relevancy and timing of messaging.; true personalization. Help provided exactly when, where how it’s needed. Reduction of boring tasks, allowing for increased creativity. What is the customer’s real goal? What do they want? Why?
  28. 28. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 2. FOCUS ON SERVICES 28 Image: Text: McKinsey, MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Carnegie Mellon via “AI will shorten your commute… via self-driving cars that result in up to 90% fewer accidents, more efficient ride sharing to reduce the number of cars on the road by up to 75%, and smart traffic lights that reduce wait times by 40% and overall travel time by 26% .“
  29. 29. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Text:; Image: IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE 29 “companies will continue to explore the power of intelligent agents to add conversational interfaces to static self-service content. They will anticipate needs by context, preferences, and prior queries and will deliver proactive alerts, relevant offers, or content. They will additionally become smarter over time via embedded artificial intelligence.” Forrester Research
  30. 30. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Text:; Image: EASE INTERACTIONS 30 “With Melody, our goal is to provide patients with an online experience that is close to a human conversation. We believe this natural type of interaction will help patients feel more comfortable with their doctors and result in a more beneficial patient-doctor relationship. As Melody has more conversations, it will also learn and keep getting better…This is just the start of a much larger, AI-driven transformation of the healthcare industry.” Baidu Research
  31. 31. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND AVOID BIAS 31 "The A.I. gives each video a score based on more than 250,000 data points, including audio, tonality and speech patterns, the importance of which can be customized for the client's need…Unilever has improved the diversity of its talent pool by 16 percent since partnering with HireVue.” Kevin Parker, CEO HireVue
  32. 32. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW? DO YOUR RESEARCH 32 “Not just market research! Contextual, competitive, employee, usability, etc. Whatever research you can do will help you.” Samantha Starmer
  33. 33. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW? CREATE A SERVICE BLUEPRINT 33 Image:,
  34. 34. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW? MAP THE TOUCHPOINTS & JOURNEY 34 Work from Allan Kempson for REI & Ralph Lauren
  35. 35. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 3. DON’T FORGET ETHICS 35, “First, robots should never harm a human being through action or inaction. Second, they must obey human orders. Third, they must protect themselves. Each law cannot conflict with the other.” - Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics “What we’d like to see is a trusted third party, perhaps a regulatory or supervisory body, that would have the power to scrutinise and audit algorithms, so they could go in and see whether the system is actually transparent and fair.” - Research team at the Alan Turing Institute in London and the University of Oxford "It's a dangerous moral ground are we walking into, making systems that are reminiscent of humanity and then treating them in a way that is inhumane." - Illah Nourbakhsh, Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University “Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft created a partnership to help establish ethical guidelines for the design and deployment of A.I. systems.” New York Times “A.I. must maximize efficiencies without destroying the dignity of people: It should preserve cultural commitments, empowering diversity. We need broader, deeper, and more diverse engagement of populations in the design of these systems.” - Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
  36. 36. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 AI WATCHES US… 36 Image: Text: “…facial-recognition technology underpins China’s ‘sharp eyes’ program, which collects surveillance footage from some fifty-five cities…By 2020, the system will render a score for each of its 1.4 billion citizens, based on their observed behavior, down to how carefully they cross the street.” Tad Friend, The New Yorker
  37. 37. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 JUDGES US… 37 Image: Text: “…white men were identified correctly 99% of the time while women with dark skin were identified incorrectly 34% of the time…A.I. systems are shaped by the priorities and prejudices — conscious and unconscious — of the people who design them.” Joy Buolamwini, MIT Media Lab Researcher
  38. 38. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 AI LEARNS FROM US 38 Image:, Text: “A lot of people are saying this is showing that AI is prejudiced. No. This is showing we’re prejudiced and that AI is learning it.” - Joanna Bryson, University of Bath
  39. 39. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW? BE INCLUSIVE 39
  40. 40. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 HOW? 40
  41. 41. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 Text: AI IS US 41 “As we invent more species of AI, we will be forced to surrender more of what is supposedly unique about humans. We’ll spend the next decade—indeed, perhaps the next century—in a permanent identity crisis, constantly asking ourselves what humans are for…The greatest benefit of the arrival of artificial intelligence is that AIs will help define humanity. We need AIs to tell us who we are.” Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired
  42. 42. Designing Customer Centered AI Experiences 29 August 2018 THANK YOU 42, @samanthastarmer

Editor's Notes

  • Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit Norway and Sweden for the first time. And this has been a really fantastic conference.
  • I’m currently looking for my next exciting opportunity, so I welcome any ideas! Most recently I was Vice President of Global Digital Experiences at Ralph Lauren, and I’ve been fortunate to work for other wonderful brands like Microsoft and Amazon. I’m passionate about the connection between humans and technology, and how to create great customer experiences that are holistic across channels.
  • Let’s start today by aligning on what we mean by AI - Artificial Intelligence. Often the first thing that comes to mind is robots. But robots are just the hardware, one possible ‘container’ for AI. AI itself doesn’t necessarily take any physical or visual form.
  • But are these more standard and informed definitions better? Do they help us understand how AI will impact us as humans? I’m not sure.
  • AI is certainly a big buzzword right now, and it can be tough to know how much to care about it in the course of our day to day lives. But I agree that it is a bit like the internet itself, and we shouldn’t avoid being informed.
  • It’s also hard to know how we should feel about AI when big names such as these predict dire or scary results.
  • According to many, this is what is about to happen. Oh shit is right. We think we have seen amazing increases to the speed of computing and general technology progress over the last 20 years? Many experts say we haven’t seen anything yet.
  • Now what? What can we do to prepare?
  • I believe it is critical, as ideally with all technology - to design and create from a customer centered perspective. It is often so tempting to use technology as a bright shiny solution. But we first need to understand the problem or opportunity. As Steve Jobs said, we have to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology.
  • And when I refer to customer, I mean all humans interacting with AI - end users, employees, clients, communities, etc.
  • One important way to be customer centered is to focus on helping humans. For example, with AI we can help those who have sight challenges to ‘see’ and understand the world around them, including recognizing loved ones before they even speak.
  • And remember that we need to keep training machine learning driven AI systems. An example is this Seeing AI tool that is still trying to figure out my correct age. You can download it for free from the app store and try it yourself.
  • And the humans that we help should ideally be all consumers who could benefit from AI. I broke my navicular bone last year. They shoot horses who break that bone. My recovery took well over a year and I will never be the runner I used to be because of a misdiagnosed xray. AI will make that a thing of the past.
  • This means we have to think beyond some of the most talked about potential impacts of AI. Right now there is a lot of fear that one of the first huge impacts of more readily available and advanced AI will be automation that takes away jobs. But there are a number of experts who believe that jobs will change and grow for the better.
  • Thinking beyond automation we can come up with ways that AI can augment our human capabilities, such as this hospital robot who can deliver lunches to specific rooms so that the nurses don’t have to run around and potential limit their ability to help their patients.
  • AI, whether in robot or some other form, can become one of our most important collaborators. Here at a company in California, robotic painters are working alongside human workers, sanding and painting cabinets. Despite early fears from employees, the human workers have grown to embrace the "cobots" -- collaborative robots who are helping them get the job done.
  • AI can amplify our human skills and intelligence, serve as a tool that makes us more successful and effective. There are AI platforms available today that connects surf rescue first responders with multiple live data views from drones, using video analysis to
    help responders better tell if the murky shape in the water is a shark or a piece of driftwood. They can detect someone who has got into difficulties while swimming.
  • In fact, there is an increasing movement to change the name of AI to EI - not artificial intelligence but extended intelligence. This is another example from the Microsoft App Seeing AI where AI can translate handwritten text to an audio version.
  • Now that we’ve discussed where AI might help us humans, you hopefully have a better sense of why designing customer centered AI experiences is important. We’ll spend the rest of the talk about how you can do that.
  • I’ll share 3 principles for creating AI experiences that go beyond the buzz and provide real value for the consumers of those experiences.
  • The first is a big one, and directly ties to putting the customer first vs. the technology. Go beyond gimmicks. AI is full of gimmicks right now. And gimmicks can be fun for a one off marketing stunt, but they generally aren’t customer centered. Take this example of the robot magic restaurant. The robots are really only there to enable selfies - they don’t yet have the sophistication to serve anyone food or to put the waiters out of a job.
  • To ensure that you are going beyond a gimmick and that you aren’t trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, start by focusing on what the value to the business or organization might be. There are lots of areas where AI can add direct bottom line value - just be sure that you map out those KPIs and then really think about what the right solution for growth will be. It may be something that is AI enabled - it may not be.
  • Also consider value to employees. While I’ve made a little fun of robots thus far in this presentation, these two in store robots are allowing sales associates to spend more time at the customer facing work. It’s a great example of potentially more creative and valuable - therefore higher paid - work growing because AI is helping with some of the grunt work.
  • Of course, adding value for end consumers is my personal passion. The beauty brand Sephora has done amazing innovative digital and AI work that both gets them extensive positive press AND serves customers. I believe this kind of customer facing AI innovation is currently under utilized and that there is a ton of opportunity for your organizations to think about creative ways you can leverage AI for consumers to drive revenue and increase satisfaction vs. just focusing on the value of AI for productivity or managing big data.
  • And let’s not forget the potential for AI to provide value to citizens and communities overall. Initiative like smart cities, AI enabling legal systems to work faster are amazing opportunities. This example is good for a bit of a laugh, but actually has been generally positively received. We have all experienced the trauma of finding a restroom when in need and the toilet paper is missing.
  • So how can we design our AI experiences to avoid gimmicks? An excellent tool to keep everyone centered and focused on the right goals is to develop experience pillars. These can be used for all of our customer experiences, or you could build off of any existing customer experience vision and strategy and create AI specific pillars. This is one general example of AI Experience Pillars that could work for a number of different types of industries and organizations - B2C or B2B. Feel free to borrow these and tailor to your own company.
  • And then make sure you are measuring the right things. The business KPIs on the left are from a recent Forbes survey of 300-plus executives, but don’t neglect customer goals. You will be most successful if you take the time to develop specific, measurable data points that put the customer in the center, such as whether you are providing help or service exactly where, when and how it’s needed.
  • Next, it is valuable to focus on services AI can provide to humans, vs. just thinking about the products and technology itself. AI is already providing services that can benefit our daily lives, and keeping a service mindset in the forefront is central to ensuring that your AI experiences stay customer centered and are truly adding value to your customers, whoever they may be.
  • An obvious example of AI and customer service benefit is the chatbot. When done well, they save humans time, can provide us proactive direction and can automate tasks that we may not want to handle ourselves such as paying bills, managing our savings or look up recipes.
  • A likely even more valuable service that chat bots can provide is easing interactions with what can be a scary and fraught with emotion conversation – health. I know I would be much more likely to tell Melody than a human doctor that I smoked a couple cigarettes last year and that I sometimes like more than a glass of wine a night.
  • And consider AI services that can not only help our productivity, but can help ensure we are making fair decisions without bias. HireVue and similar AI interviewing software not only helps manage the initial candidate screen, but has been shown to help increase diversity in recruiting and hiring.
  • How do we ensure we are focusing on services? First, it’s critical to do your research. But not just market research. Contextual research, competitive research, employee research, usability testing or follow alongs are all fantastic ways to uncover what existing services you could improve and what new services may be needed.
  • Similarly service design tools like creating a service blueprint are excellent frameworks for ensuring that your services, experiences and interactions are connected across time and channel. Service blueprints are great to build whenever you are developing a new service or looking to improve an existing one because they make you look at all of the supporting tools and employees needed to ensure the service is successful.
  • And finally, Touchpoint and journey mapping are very helpful tactics for defining services that focus on human consumers. They are exceptionally useful for aligning various stakeholders from across a brand or business on the actual customer experience, gaps, pain points and opportunities.
  • We can’t have a set of pillars for designing AI without talking about ethics. This is obviously a critical topic that is still very much in its infancy. I do think that at minimum, if we follow our customer centered principles, that will keep us a step ahead from an ethical standpoint. I’m very pleased that such large and innovative technology companies are actually partnering to help establish ethical guidelines.
  • But AI technology is already starting to raise ethical concerns. With China arguably being the current leader in AI development and innovation, they are already seeing existing tools that would give many of us cause for concern. With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is arguably building a high-tech authoritarian future.
  • And AI judges us. A number of very concerning studies like the one quoted here from Joy Buolamwini from MIT show significant bias from AI systems, particular from a gender and racial perspective.


    When I was a college student using A.I.-powered facial detection software for a coding project, the robot I programmed couldn’t detect my dark-skinned face. I had to borrow my white roommate’s face to finish the assignment. Later, working on another project as a graduate student at the M.I.T. Media Lab, I resorted to wearing a white mask to have my presence recognized
  • The thing is, AI learns from us. Including our potential biases and prejudices. We are the ones building AI systems, we are the ones teaching AI systems how to get better. Often our own unconscious biases can easily be designed into any design or strategy we create. Biases impacting AI systems is even more threatening, because of how the AI programs learn from us.
  • How do we solve potential bias from being built into our human instigated creations, interactions, marketing or experiences? The best starting point is to be inclusive.
  • This video is specific to coding. But her point is 100% valid for all the work we do in our day to day lives, regardless of whether we are building AI experiences or are creating personas for customer segmentation.
  • At the end of the day, AI is us. It will change government, education, cities, entertainment, retail and all manner of businesses. It will change the world. Let’s make sure that we keep our humanity central.