The Survey Says: Personal Customization with AI
Data collection for surveys should technically be seamless. As long as we get the feedback that we need, we can keep moving along in our process. Well, sometimes aggregating the data is not quite as simple, especially if you are still using the same old methods. Rather than just gather the responses, Alex Miller and the innovative team at Icebergh.co think that those who complete the surveys are just as important as what those respondents have to say. Using AI and Bio-Metric Mapping, Alex and Icebergh.co have found a way to not only collect the demographics of survey participants, but determine their possible emotions as well. How do they do this? Let’s take a look and see.
Tamara: Can you share a story that inspired you to get involved in AI?
Alex: I was a speaker at a cloud computing conference in Columbus, Ohio that hosted a regional audience of technology professionals and enthusiasts. The keynote speech of the day was a brilliant presentation on Azure’s AI and machine learning capabilities. While I had some exposure to these services in the past, I had never had a reason to examine them in depth or really understand their capabilities.
Our speaker’s presentation felt more like a magic show than a technical tutorial. I was so impressed by the ease, speed, and accuracy of her tests that the presentation stuck with me. I was up almost the entire night back in my hotel, playing around with machine learning functions and “napkin sketching” the idea that would eventually turn into Icebergh.
Tamara: Describe your company and the AI/predictive analytics/data analytics products/services you offer.
Alex: Icebergh is, at its core, a survey platform. We offer onsite kiosk platforms to measure customer experience data and collect feedback throughout various industries. Icebergh is unique in that its core system is built with AI and machine learning processes. Not only do we collect respondents’ answers, but our system analyzes and predicts demographic factors such as age, gender, and our proprietary EmotionIndex℠, measuring the emotional response of respondents.
Without the need to ask demographic questions, organizations can focus on the questions that get to the primary issues, providing them with actionable data without sacrificing the valuable demographics.
Tamara: How do you see the AI/data analytics/predictive analysis industry evolving in the future?
Alex: AI is still largely in its infancy and we’re just starting to understand its far-reaching capabilities. I fully expect to see a rapid evolution of AI, both in capability and in industry usage. Before long, AI systems and processes will be commonplace throughout nearly any industry. We’re already witnessing it’s breakthrough in core industries such as manufacturing, automotive, and retail.
Tamara: What is the biggest challenge facing the industry today in your opinion?
Alex: AI is in murky waters when it comes to proper usage, such as regulation. We’re seeing governing bodies move to impose regulations on an industry that is moving faster than legislation, causing confusion and disconnections between private and public groups. This can hinder innovation as the lines are not clearly drawn, and those innovating will be reluctant to allocate resources to projects with unsteady futures.
Until AI becomes more commonplace and accepted as a valuable resource, questions regarding proper usage are going to linger. Much like the early days of the internet, AI needs to grow into its own, allow lawmakers to play catch up, and continue to evolve.
Tamara: How do you see your products/services evolving going forward?
Alex: Our team is excited to watch Icebergh grow with AI. As processes get quicker and more accurate, so do our capabilities to arm organizations with actionable data about their customers.
Tamara: What is your favorite AI movie and why?
Alex: Perhaps a bit too dystopian, but I’d say I, Robot. In many ways, this story displays the importance of understanding the full impact of innovation before accepting it’s value — a common concern with AI from the public. While I don’t expect a robot army uprising anytime soon, there is a value in having a sense of caution with unknown technology.
Tamara: What type of advice would you give my readers about AI?
Alex: Start small. AI can become part of everyday life, in the home and at the office. Before launching full-force into an AI-first lifestyle, start small. Purchase a voice assistant, implement a chatbot on your website, or try out a new data processing system for small sets of data at work. Once you understand more about how you (or your company) react(s) to the technology, you can begin to expand your reach.
Tamara: How does AI, particularly your product/service, bring goodness to the world? Can you explain how you help people?
Alex: Our product is designed to bring much-needed transparency into the business/customer relationship in a non-invasive, efficient manner. Customers utilize Icebergh to share their feedback with organizations — immediately and onsite to ensure accuracy in responses. The receiving organizations are supplied with this data in an actionable and digestible format, so they can institute real change. It’s a win-win for customers who see their feedback being utilized and businesses who get the benefit of loyal customers.
Tamara: What would be the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you during your company’s evolution?
Alex: In our first version, we had some funny results from our machine learning processes, pegging 20 year-old males as 60 year-old females for example. While we’ve greatly enhanced our service since those initial days of testing and now have a high level of accuracy, we do miss the chuckles.
Tamara: What are the 3–5 things that most excite you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
- It’s transforming businesses to have more efficient operations, reducing waste
- The future of AI is largely speculative — what may come next is only limited by the imagination
- The availability of AI tools and services has become so open that the barrier to entry for young entrepreneurs, or non-technical entrepreneurs continues to lower — granting a pathway for persistent innovation.
Tamara: What are the 3–5 things worry you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
- Regulators have often taken over-reaching positions to new technologies, which could stall innovation. Lawmakers and industry leaders need to work together to understand the impact of potential policies
- Many parts of society still fear AI which may limit its speed of integration into some spheres. While there needs to be ample time for testing (especially in processes like self-driving cars), the sci-fi fears of AI taking over may never be fully overcome
- It’s easy to become too dependent on data and data without context is meaningless. With AI/ML granting access to more data than ever before, we need to ensure its being stored and analyzed in usable formats
Tamara: Over the next three years, name at least one thing that we can expect in the future related to AI?
Alex: The role of AI tools is going to greatly reach into the workplace. Whereas we see voice assistants like Google Home and Alexa in the home today, we’ll see new tools and services entering the office becoming second-nature for many businesses.