Wharton Customer Analytics

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Realizing the Potential of Visual Artificial Intelligence

In this pandemic world, advances in the use of visual media are helping firms to interact with their customers in new ways. Many brands are adopting XR and offering non-touch product experiences. Visual search has become a reality and the customer journey is getting shorter. However, the use of visual products has not been without controversy. While there is excitement around brand placement on TikTok, the usage of the platform has raised concerns on data privacy. Similarly, there is a strong case to be made for building a smart city and being prepared for the next pandemic yet the negative buzz around image (facial) recognition is making its future viability questionable. Visual artificial intelligence — the combination of computer vision, content formats (video, images and XR), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning applied for foundational use cases of customer analytics — is the next frontier for many companies. The road is slippery, however, and the pace of innovation is rapid. Companies must tread carefully to realize the full potential of visual AI.