There’s a company called “Do Not Pay” and they are in the business of making sure their clients pay less – or sometimes not at all.  Its a tough business, negotiating on behalf of clients to reduce their bills.

If you’ve ever done this kind of negotiation, and many of us have at some point in our career or in our personal lives – it’s tough.  But if you do it, you’ll realize there’s a formula for this.  You many not think of it in those terms, but there are books you can get and a structured way of going at negotiations.  In the long run, you can save a lot.

But it’s work and sometimes not really pleasant work.  It can be exhausting – physically and emotionally draining.

So I couldn’t imagine how you make this a product or a service out of this that can make money on a large scale.  And I can’t imagine how you hire people who will do that day in and day out.

Until I heard that “Do Not Pay” was trying to use artificial intelligence to argue with companies.  We did a story not long ago on how they said they had successfully had their AI bot argue for a customer – successfully.

And my imagination got going.  I imagined that if they could do this on behalf of a customer, why couldn’t the company they were arguing with get its own artificial intelligence to defend its price?  In the future, instead of, I’ll have people call your people, would we say, I’ll have my robot call your robot?

I got a picture of two robots arguing with each other while the people involved were sitting somewhere in a cafe, sipping coffee or a drink.  And I laughed.

Then I got an email from one of my contacts at Gartner. Most of you might know Gartner.I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s one of if not the, best research companies in the technology world. Leaders from CEOs to CIOs and more go to Gartner to find out where the world of technology is heading. And in turn, Gartner does their research by engaging with technology and business leaders across the world.

So they have real credibility when they make predictions.

Now here’s what the email said that caught my eye.

Gartner Says Machine Customers Represent One of the Biggest New Growth Opportunities of the Decade

Machine customers?  If it hadn’t come from Gartner, I can’t say I would have really been hit the same way.  Can machines be customers?

I had to find out, so I went back and go the people who wrote the book on this subject, literally.

The book is called “When Machines Become Customers” and my guest is one of the authors Don Scheibenreif, a distinguished analyst at Gartner.

The post When Machines Become Customers – Interview with Garner Analyst Don Scheibenreif for Hashtag Trending, Weekend Edition first appeared on IT World Canada.

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