Would you trust an agent negotiating offers on your behalf? Patent application summary
Artificial Intelligence and related technologies are progressing rapidly — the same with general data availability. Bots are becoming smarter and they will soon reach a point of autonomous communication with other bots. In an eCommerce context, a ‘Consumer Bot’ will be able to autonomously communicate with ‘Seller Bots’, and negotiate on your behalf for the right deal, based on your priorities and preferences. According to the referenced patent, negotiation is based on an optimization process within the decision space defined by consumer’s objectives and the explicitly set, or implicitly identified preferences.
This is a summarization/discussion of a published patent application described as “… a framework that automates the discovery and negotiation of product sales online based on buyer- and seller-defined parameters and elasticity thresholds. Artificial intelligence (AI) negotiation agents operate on behalf of the buyers and sellers to locate potential deals, automatically and anonymously negotiate towards the best terms for their respective users based on the parameters set by the users to be important and also based on market conditions. The AI negotiation agents join a multi-stage negotiation session until sufficiently improved offers are obtained for particular products and services. These negotiated, improved, offers are then transmitted to the buyers and sellers for acceptance. The AI agent for Sellers optimizes sales strategy and effectiveness while the AI agent for Buyers improves purchasing decision-making and empowers better deals with less effort” — USFamily ID:1000001897708 Appl. No.:15/087870Filed: March 31, 2016
In an e-commerce scenario, the consumer intents to make a significant purchase (an expensive product) which is available through several online retailers. Typically, the price varies significantly, depending on a number of factors, also including time (dynamic pricing). The consumer might be price-sensitive customer (top priority is price) or might have other objectives (to have the product delivered as soon as possible, even at a higher price).
In the same e-commerce context, there might be interesting product alternatives as well, such as used products which the consumer might consider but is not aware of, or doesn’t have the time to explore; or similar products (same brand or a competitor). Considering also inputs such as user reviews, expert opinion, social signals and news, the situation can become a bit complex, overwhelming and time-consuming.
Consumers could describe their objectives, priorities, budget and elasticity to their personal ‘Buyer Bots’, then release them to the market, to independently find the best possible deal
The ‘Consumer Bot’, could discover hundreds of ‘Retailer Bots’ and initiate a communication process (possibly in parallel). As soon as the availability of a relevant product is there, the communication with the ‘Retailer Bot’ becomes a negotiation process, trying to match the objectives for both sides, by using the elasticity and priorities of each Bot.
The negotiation process depends on the priorities and elasticity of each of the involved parties (reflected by the corresponding Bots). For instance a ‘Consumer Bot’ which needs the product as soon as possible and has cost elasticity (consumer can accept higher price), could negotiate and agree with a ‘Retailer Bot’ offering immediate delivery but with above market average pricing.
In another scenario, where the consumer is price-sensitive and is looking to minimize the cost, the ‘Consumer Bot’ may find a ‘Retailer Bot’ which has priority (objective constraint) to ‘clear the stock’ (for cash-flow reasons); after negotiations, the two Bots may ‘agree’ on a very low price but full payment in advance which satisfies the objectives of both parties (which are then notified to review and confirm the transaction).
As described in the referenced published patent application, the Bots are able to handle vast amounts of data, consumer reviews, social signals, consumer trends, product announcements, sudden events such as recalls or announcements of severe products defects.
This capability allows Bots to, not only handle the noise of the market, but alto to proactively and autonomously inform their ‘owners’ about patterns, trends, and scenarios which are relevant to their activity, planning and objectives.
An autonomous ‘Buyer Bot’ dealing with an autonomous ‘Seller Bot’. Negotiating on behalf of both sides towards a mutually beneficial agreement.
As described in this published patent application on an ‘Artificial Intelligence Negotiation Agent’ — USFamily ID:1000001897708Appl. No.:15/087870Filed: March 31, 2016