Can ‘things’ be social?

Credit: istock

Originally posted at

Everyone has some concern about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on our human job force — it’s in the news everywhere. But, what if it goes beyond jobs? What if it completely changes the meaning of other aspects of our lives and businesses that we haven’t thought much about yet? Like, how we communicate socially and who, or what, we interact with in a social network. What if this current generation of social media networks and apps is the end of social media as we know it? What if you logged into Facebook and the toaster in your kitchen had “liked” your latest update?

Social media could be simply boiled down to a collection of networks where content is posted, observed and reacted to. Today, humans are behind those activities. But with the fast, continuing growth of an internet of things (IoT), there is no doubt there will be networks where “things” are posting messages, being observed and reacted to.

Consider this scenario: You go to and purchase a new toaster, which is promptly delivered for free by drone in the next 2 hours. You unpack your new toaster, place it on the kitchen counter and plug it in. Using the Amazon app on your phone, you give the toaster access to your home wifi signal so it can automatically report issues in case it breaks and start a warranty return process. The toaster promptly sends out a signal that it’s online and working perfectly. The AI-based system at the toaster’s manufacturing company recognizes the toaster is online, sends a message back to confirm the warranty is registered and ties the id of the toaster to your account with all the information they were given about you in the transaction with Amazon.

Continue reading on to see how the automated customer service scenario plays out.

At HelpSocial we’re being pulled strongly in the direction of connecting digital customer care practices with automated processes. Sounds difficult and technical but you’d probably be surprised at just how easy it really is, even when using your existing systems.

If you’re working through the strategy of how/when to start phasing in more automation, send me an email. What are the challenges you face with bringing AI and automation to your organization?