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With more and more of our lives spent online, it's no wonder stories that sound like science fiction are all the rage.

There was a concern that the LaMDA model had become sentient.

An image of a man playing chess with a humanoid hologram was featured in an article by the head of global affairs for Meta.

At the company's conference for machine learning, automation, robotics and space, the head scientist for Amazon's voice-enabled device,Alexa, gave a presentation. When so many of us have lost the ones we love, it's more important than ever that we build trust, he said during his keynote.

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He pointed out that artificial intelligence can make our memories last. This set-up introduces a video that shows a capability. The video shows a new feature called Personal Voice Speech that allows users to change their default voice to someone they know in real life, even if that person has died.

The stories have sparked a mix of curiosity, ridicule and thoughtful discourse, but they are just the latest in a long tradition of imagining how artificial intelligence could change our world if it were to resemble humans. It has been more than 50 years since the movie "A Space Odyssey" was released.

The question is, after decades of creativity and innovation fueled by the promise of artificial intelligence, why is it still easier to talk on the phone to a real person?

What if we focused on what it feels like to interact with a human instead of what it looks and sounds like?

Achieving authenticity via automation 

The ability to mimic voices using short audio clips is an impressive feat of technology. Digital, human-like experiences can't be replicated just through attributes.

Affect is an expression of it and not necessarily different from empathy. Understanding another person's perspective and feelings is what empaths need.

According to an annual survey of senior C-suite executives, the majority of companies are increasing their investment in artificial intelligence. More than 75% of the companies surveyed reported widespread adoption of artificial intelligence, and less than 5% had no applications of the technology.

Businesses are confident in their investments in artificial intelligence. A majority of B2C brands say they have a good or excellent personalized experience. The survey found that only half of consumers agreed with that statement. There is a concern about the gap between what brands think they are offering and what consumers are actually getting.

Leveraging conversational technology to deliver personalized experiences

Technology alone doesn't create an excellent, personalized experience according to consumers It is possible for brands of all sizes to offer more human interactions at scale, but only if it really captures what makes us human. Even small brands can get it right with conversational technology at scale. Technology that powers interactions that offer substance is what brands should focus on.

Tools that drive conversations work best if they are in dialogue with the user, learning from inputs and synthetic data, and having a conversation that yields more and more context. Consumers prefer insights delivered through one-to-one interactions over third-party data.

The brands that offer truly interactive, conversational experiences powered by information during engaging interactions with customers will stand for better growth and stronger loyalty than those that try to replicate these zero-party insights.

Humans don't need to be mimicked in automated experiences. Understanding how humans interact is what it is about. We learn more about each other through conversations.

The human interactions unfold one question at a time, with each side getting more value and context as the conversation progresses. If you compare this to a typical interaction with a brand, you'll see that they only ask for things from users. The user provides all the value and gets very little in return. Would you want to talk to a real person again or trust them with your personal information? It's probably not.

Most of the advances that make artificial intelligence more human are entertaining and thought provoking, but they don't capture the parts of our humanity that allow us to connect with one another.

The real value for both brands and consumers will be found in the more subtle interactions that feel so natural; the technology is almost invisible.

Karrie is the Chief Marketing Officer at Typeform.

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