A modern living room with light and dark gray decor features a bright red smart speaker connected to various smart home devices in yellow and blue by glowing blue lines, symbolizing the initial phase of technological integration governed by human rules.

I don’t often visit Medium other than when I’m writing a post for the WAO blog. When I’m there, it’s unlikely that any of the ‘recommended’ articles grab my attention. But this one did.

Although it seems ‘odd’, when you come to think of it, the notion of businesses selling to machines as well as humans makes complete sense. It won’t be long until, for better or worse, many of us will have AI agents who act on our behalf. That will not only be helping us with routine tasks and giving advice, but also making purchases on our behalf.

Obviously, the entity behind this blog post, “next-generation professional services company” has an interest in this becoming a reality. But it seems plausible.

Below is a timeline that encapsulates this progression, providing a roadmap for navigating the impending shifts in the landscape of consumer behavior:

  1. Bound customer (today): Here, humans set the rules, and machines follow, executing purchases for specific items. This is seen in today’s smart devices and services like automated printer ink subscriptions.

  2. Adaptable customer (by 2026): Machines will co-lead with humans, making optimized decisions from a set of choices. This will be reflected in smart home systems that can choose energy providers.

  3. Autonomous customer (by 2036): The machine will take the lead, inferring needs and making purchases based on a complex understanding of rules, content, and preferences, such as AI personal assistants managing daily tasks.

Source: Slalom Business

Image: DALL-E 3