It’s likely that Amelia and her colleagues will become more competitive with humans over time as AI enters the mainstream and more businesses enter the AI race. In fact, chatbots are now embedded in Facebook’s Messenger app, for example.

Does this mean that humans will be pushed out of customer service entirely? It’s possible one day, but it’s unlikely to happen in the near term. Experts surveyed by Oxford University predict a 50/50 chance that AI will achieve human-like intelligence by 2040 to 2050.

Today, the Amelias of the world lack the ability to think outside the database. They are only as smart as their algorithms and existing data sets make them. They can’t use imagination and creativity to come up with new solutions to problems, and they can’t summon the kind of warmth and empathy that the best customer service agents offer.

Rather than look at AI simply as a way to replace employees, businesses should take a more holistic approach and focus on ways that AI and humans can complement one another to improve speed, which is customers’number one priority, according to a survey by software company Parature. By automating processes and making better use of employees in customer service, businesses can move a step closer to responding in the moment of their customers’ choosing – the true definition of a Live Business.

To learn more about how humans and robots will co-evolve, read the in-depth report Bring Your Robot to Work.