Stop Talking, Start Doing! – Navigating The AI Revolution In Digital Signage

January 15, 2024 by guest author, Tomer Mann

Guest Post: Tomer Mann, CRO, 22Miles

Since last year’s artificial intelligence boom, companies across the digital signage landscape have been hurrying to realign their brand with modern demand. New and legacy brands alike have published position whitepapers on AI best practices, re-packaged existing features under an “AI” heading on their websites or sought ways to quickly capture existing AI on their platforms.

Despite all the talk, however, only ten percent of organizations actually launched generative AI solutions into production this year.

Both the posturing and the angst make sense. No one can afford to look like they’re standing still on AI. Research from Icertis finds that over 80% of executives believe that generative AI will impact their near-term bottom line. If you want a decision-maker’s attention, you’d better at least pretend to have answers to their burning AI requests.

On the other hand, the rapid adoption of AI has raised many red flags, particularly among those concerned with privacy and safety. Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are black boxes. No one really knows what they do with the data they ingest or how they produce their answers. Digital signage providers with enterprise customers are understandably wary of integrating and promoting tools with so many unknowns.

Successful AI integration for digital signage systems requires both eagerness and careful preparation – but given the high demand, these need to come on an accelerated timeline. Incorporating LMM capabilities and plugins can offer a start, but going beyond AI as an add-on to bring the features to the system’s core can be a true differentiator for custom interfaces.

From conversational AI support to proprietary intelligence trained on organization specific knowledge, prioritizing product-level innovation over mass adoption will substantially benefit digital signage integrators and enhance customer experiences.

A Window of Opportunity, Closing Fast

Since the dawn of the Internet, there have been three major milestones in how people search for information online:

  1. Google search made it massively easier to produce relevant results from a simple search query;
  2. Then, the invention of the smartphone put instant information access in our pockets;
  3. Now, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has made it possible to essentially talk to the Internet like a person, and get detailed answers synthesized from all available information on a subject.

In the digital signage industry, we are in the business of disseminating information. Conversational AI is how people are looking for information now and next. We need to be riding the crest of this wave, or we—and our customers—will be left behind.

According to research from ZenDesk, 73% of consumers expect more interactions with AI in their daily lives and anticipate that those interactions will improve customer service quality. If the consumer-facing visual communications systems you are installing can’t support conversational AI, they will likely need replacement within the next three to five years.

Removing Barriers for Enterprise Customers

Enterprises want to reap the benefits of LLM too, but they’re constrained from fast adoption. Most enterprises are dealing with at least some highly secure data that can’t be allowed anywhere near the public Internet, nonetheless a mysterious globally distributed AI mystery box. According to Arize, data privacy and security concerns are the leading barriers to AI adoption, and nearly a quarter of respondents would require a locally run on-prem solution.

This is where it pays to go deep. If you want to provide AI services to enterprise customers, you need to become – or at least partner very closely with – a specialized AI company. If you can deliver fully on-premises AI processing, you can unlock highly secure employee-facing AI chat with responses derived from proprietary company data. Such solutions can be tailored to be aware of identity and permissions so that users receive appropriate responses for their access level.

Even though the adoption of generative AI remains relatively low for now, research by McKinsey confirms that executives see the benefits of AI in terms of lowering costs, increasing staff productivity, improving the value of their services, and increasing revenues. If you can be the partner that helps safely accelerate AI adoption across business units, you will have a customer for life.

Taste Test Before Serving

The first step in providing AI is adopting it.

Our company, 22Miles, used generative AI internally before rolling it out for our customers. We built our own custom chat interface trained on our knowledge center and data and began using it to assist in service and support. This “eat our own dog food” approach prepared our team to answer customer questions about AI training, use cases, accuracy and more. By testing AI features before offering them to your customers, you’ll be prepared to do the same.

As you incorporate AI into your service offerings, you should lay out a clear roadmap and policy for incorporating AI tools that support your business operations. Everyone selling and servicing these tools should be deeply familiar with them so that they can lead customers into this new technological frontier from a position of authority.

Developing your tools internally will also ultimately increase the value of your services – you will inevitably discover aspects of these tools that you can incorporate into your solutions as a value-add.

The AI revolution is a watershed moment. The companies that move quickly to seize their place in this revolution will reap the greatest share of the benefits; everyone else will be scrambling to catch up. It’s time to stop talking about AI and act on the opportunity.

About The Writer

Tomer Mann is Chief Revenue Officer for 22 Miles. Tomer and his team turn ideas into well-designed, feature-rich, all-in-one digital signage solutions. This belief in innovation and constant improvement is what drives 22 Miles to be a forward-thinking digital leader in the industry, and Tomer’s dedication to business development and relationship building helps bring this to light. As a veteran in the digital signage industry of more than fifteen years, Tomer Mann strives to enhance visual communication consulting services to higher education, hospitality, retail, transportation, government, corporate, venues, healthcare, and other large organizations. 

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