Forrester’s CX team is putting the final touches on Human + Machine, our customer experience forum in San Francisco for 2017.  This year we shine a spotlight on how AI can improve customer experience. That includes both how companies innovate with AI today, and the most exciting opportunities for tomorrow.

We’re starting out with a case study by the Chief Product Officer at eBay, RJ Pittman. eBay is “hyper-focused on AI” as the means for providing digital customer service that surpasses human service in a store. That’s a tough challenge given their one billion live product listings. So enter the multi-platform ShopBot, which aims to be “as effortless as chatting with a friend.” This baby is up and running today, available to eBay’s 171 million active buyers.

At the other end of the tech adoption spectrum, we’re featuring new players with new technologies that foster new forms of competition. I’m especially excited to hear from the CEO and co-founder of Soul Machines, Mark Sagar. Soul Machines creates uncannily lifelike “digital humans” with personalities. Everyone here on the CX team who checks them out has the same reaction: Whoa! We can’t stop talking about them. If you haven’t already, check out their baby. I mean that literally: it’s a baby.

And those are just two of our speakers. If I get more time before the event (which is coming up fast) I’ll write about some of the others – it’s crazy that there are so many exciting talks by guests that include:

  • Stewart Butterfield, CEO & Co-Founder of Slack
  • David Isbitski, Chief Evangelist for Alex and Echo, Amazon
  • Nick Sugimoto, CEO, Honda R&D Innovations, Inc.
  • Vanja Josifovski, Chief Technology Officer, Pinterest
  • Karen Van Kirk, Vice President, Viewer Experience, Hulu
  • Chip Heath, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Co-Author, The Power of Moments
  • Mark McCormick, SVP, Strategist, Enterprise Transformation Services, Wells Fargo
  • Kathryn Minshew, CEO & Founder, The Muse

I hope you’ll join us for Human + Machine at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis on October 19 and 20. Last year this event sold out, so you might want to act now if you haven’t already purchased a ticket. And as a special “thank you” for reading this post, use the discount code CXSF17BLOG for $200 off.