The age-old debate on technology versus human capability remains inconclusive. But in this time of artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and cloud, we\u2019re seeing more opportunities to think of how humans and machines can come together as a team, rather than acting against each other. From diagnosing diseases and delivering effortless customer experiences to understanding human preferences and providing new customer insights, the human and AI partnership is evolving \u2014 and more in sync than ever. That\u2019s making our lives simpler and more convenient. \n\nGartner predicts that context-driven analytics and AI models will replace 60% of existing models built on traditional data by 2025. We will see new types of data \u2014 including unstructured data, such as audio, video, and images \u2014 being leveraged to give organizations a competitive advantage, get more value, and develop new use cases to set the stage for a new customer-driven era. \n\nThis offers a glimpse into a future of close human and AI partnerships, where we think, collaborate, and create augmented by technology and business intelligence. This kind of partnership is important when the objective is to empower customers with personalized and relevant insights that can help them make informed decisions to buy products, subscribe to services, or use various offerings, which in turn adds to their trust and loyalty in a company. \n\nA real-life example of this can be found in an intelligent virtual agent or chatbot used by organizations to provide personalized service and guidance to people. Chatbots use AI and scripted rules to ask questions, identify the challenge, and resolve customer queries. \n\nChatbots seem like a fool-proof solution to creating and delivering a good customer experience with fewer human resources, but recent Avaya research with Ipsos indicates that, based on their last interaction with a virtual agent, only 1 in 3 customers would recommend that business to others. This is because only 50% of them had their issue or concern resolved. This lack of success is due in part to the historical complexity of developing and delivering effective virtual agent solutions. \n\nTraditionally, it could take months to deploy a virtual chatbot, by which time consumer preferences, business processes, or even basic company information may have changed. Relying on a chatbot alone is a failure to leverage the potential of human-to-AI partnership. \n\nAvaya Virtual Agent removes this complexity, enabling organizations to quickly deploy Avaya-designed, pre-built, cloud-based self-service agents instead of building them from scratch. It leverages the Avaya Experience Platform\u2122, which reimagines communications composability, providing customers with the option of constructing their own workflows or subscribing to pre-built experiences. This also enables businesses to participate in the Experience Economy by elevating their customer interactions beyond just making them more efficient to also making them more engaging to capture increased customer time and attention. The Avaya Experience Builders\u2122 community can assist businesses with getting started or with addressing more advanced deployment requirements.\n\nThe ready-to-deploy virtual agent is designed to deliver the full benefits of virtual, AI-based communication experiences by leaning into the human-to-AI partnership. The solution reduces call volumes to live agents, decreasing average call wait times. It also increases agent productivity by providing important context to the humans who may have to solve more complex customer issues. Most importantly, though, it delivers true speed-to-value, enabling companies to infuse high-value capabilities into the customer experience in a matter of days. This means you can scale your AI efforts while leveraging an existing CX framework, building a true partnership between human and machine. \n\nThat partnership is a win-win-win situation for the company, contact center agents, and the customer. The company can swiftly compose the kinds of interactions that its customers expect; the call center agent is given access to a single, easy-to-use dashboard that eliminates the need to train and helps dedicate more time toward meeting customer expectations; and customers appreciate the heightened level of responsiveness.\n\nThis advanced capability also does away with misconceptions about technology taking over jobs. This perception stems from the inability of companies to have an open discussion with employees about embracing AI across business functions. Using technology with a purpose is known to help employees focus more on business innovation and value-added tasks, rather than spending time on mundane work. It is a company\u2019s responsibility to demonstrate and educate their employees on how technology can augment and support their work to achieve satisfaction. \n\nIn today\u2019s experience economy, human abilities can fall short, due in large part to the outweighed importance of heavy data analysis. But relying entirely on machines is hardly the right approach \u2014 organizations need the automated, fast-calculating power of AI. But they also need the human ingenuity that\u2019s required to solve complex issues. The focus, then, should be on adopting AI technologies that enhance the skill sets of your employees.