Artificial intelligence has grown into one of the most formidable product tools on the planet. The Age of Product is being driven by automation and connectivity. and it is crucial that product managers understand what AI is and what it is not. So, how do product managers know whether or not AI should be a part of their product strategy? This week, Product Talk host, Neha Shah, interviews Tata Consulting Services VP of Sustainability and Emerging Tech & Co-Founder of Strides.ai Malur Narayan on how artificial intelligence can impact your product and company. 

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On what artificial intelligence is

There is much that needs to be demystified when it comes to artificial intelligence. Many of us still think robots take over when the truth of the matter is much more simple. Artificial intelligence has become a major part of product development and has revolutionized the user experience. Product managers need to know exactly what artificial intelligence is in order to utilize it correctly: Here is what Malur had to say about what artificial intelligence is:

“AI is anything that mimics or exceeds human behavior or human intelligence. AI is so broadly used these days that it encompasses many different aspects and fields, from computer vision to robotics, to machine and deep learning.”

“The real use of AI is being able to predict and forecast what’s coming so that you can take the preventive action or corrective action. Or, an action that benefits whatever you are trying to do.”

“AI is brand new and is more about the learning aspect. It is about making changes to the outcome based on past behavior and continued learning behavior.”

On artificial intelligence-driven solutions

Malur’s company, Strides.ai, is a platform that enables companies to build a diverse talent pool by meeting the right set of people. Their entire process is to make sure that companies discover talent, meet with your team, build a relationship, and ensure a cross-cultural fit. Their overarching mission is getting more diversity in senior leadership. All before hiring the candidate or making an offer. This is how Strides.ai uses artificial intelligence to make faster and better connections:

“Our entire premise on using AI in Strides is to fast track [the combatibility] process by doing a couple of things. One, providing intelligent real-time insights. So, as you and I are having a conversation, being able to say, she loves running, you love running, maybe you should talk about your marathon timing.”

“If you see how salespeople operate, they do a lot of that research before they talk to their clients. This is being able to do that in real-time, without necessarily having to do the research.” 

“The second thing is providing the necessary context for a conversation. For any relationship to move forward, there has to be some common topic of conversation. And by using natural language processing, and a couple of other tools, we are able to identify key trending topics.”

On reasons some AI products fail

1 in 3 product launches fail for a myriad of reasons. There are countless components that go into developing a successful product. And missing a step along the way can be detrimental to the life and success of your product. With artificial intelligence being so new, it is critical properly test your product. Malur’s first attempt at an AI product failed due to being overcomplicated and undertested. Check out these reasons why some AI products fail:

“Initially, it was just built, but it was a very skeleton system that was built. And it worked. But In some scenarios, it didn’t necessarily work. It was not Alpha ready, It was not ready for prime time, or to be tested on real users.”

“Initially, we had a more complex signup process, which didn’t work very well. People had to sign in, and then somebody had to approve them. It just became too complex.”

“The first lesson is to go back and build a more robust platform. Then, take it to a set of users who are more forgiving. Your mom, your dad, or your uncle.”

On creating a seamless user experience

One of the universal truths of customer needs, no matter the target audience, is that people want a quick and easy user experience. They want minimal interaction and maximum benefit. One of the quickest ways to lose a customer is by having a dysfunctional product. Two of the biggest benefits of artificial intelligence are automation and connectivity. These are some of the ways to create a seamless user experience for your end users:

“If you go to our site, you’ll see it looks very, very good. And then, our UI UX designer did a fantastic job of making sure it looks and feels the same way. And, it’s consistent in terms of behavior. Those things are very important.”

‘“If you don’t plan the front end very well if you don’t talk to customers if you’re not close to your user base, you’re going to end up building something that nobody wants to use.”

“People’s expectations in a user’s expectations are so high, that if it takes me longer than 15 seconds for something to load, they moved on to something else.”

About the speaker
Malur Narayan Tata Consultancy Services, STRIDES.ai, Vice-President, Emerging Tech & Sustainability GTM Member
About the host
Neha Shah
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