Don't Get Lost in The Generative AI Hype

The generative AI hype has UC/CC providers scrambling to add AI to their offer to say 'we have AI,' but at what cost? We explore the notion.

Moshe Beauford, Contributing Editor

April 19, 2024

10 Slides

While generative artificial intelligence (AI) continues to dominate unified communications with the promise of making humans more productive in various areas, namely the workplace, there are some cautions. The generative AI hype is something most unified communications and collaboration (UCC) companies are excited to proclaim that "we have AI in our offer."

But what about the drawbacks of generative AI? There are those who remain ill at ease.

"While AI is being overhyped a bit, along with the benefits are some challenges and disadvantages that might make it a double-edged sword," David Smith, UCC analyst and owner of Inflow Analysis, told Channel Futures.

He believes since AI can be hard to explain, it can get companies into hot water.

InFlow Analysis' David Smith

"In CCaaS, an AI that flags a customer as "high risk" without clear explanation could lead to unfair treatment," said, Smith, playing devil's advocate.

Unified communications providers like MitelAvaya-Zoom, Microsoft, Fusion Connect and an abundance of others have given into the generative AI hype in the name of enhancing customer (CX) and user experience (UX), with others latching onto the technology, almost daily. 

Finbarr Goode Begley, senior research analyst at Cavell Group, told Channel Futures, "AI in UCC presents a question: What do we want from this? That isn’t a question yet with a comprehensive answer from the industry."

Related:Gen AI Developments Captivate Data Center World Audience

Data from forecasters at Cavell Group appears to support this notion, with the analyst firm finding that the advent of AI in technology platforms poses a "significant challenge for providers." For starters, some 48% of providers believe that AI will impact their provisioning of services and solutions.

Fifty-eight percent of providers say they plan to build AI functionalities into their products, while 42% said they are doing so now. Another 52% of respondents said they believe AI will pose the biggest threat to their business in the future. 

Goode-Begley believes that while companies are sure they want agent assistance, automated action creation, summaries and more, there remains what he called the "pending question about how much human communication we are happy to automate." 

Cavell Group's Finbarr Goode Begley

"Companies need to make sure they don’t get lost in the promise of 'automation' and keep their focus on the main goal of the UCC industry – connecting humans to humans," he said.

See what else we learned about cautionary AI tales in the slideshow above.

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About the Author(s)

Moshe Beauford

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.

As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.

Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.

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