As I have written about many times before, contact centers have always been at the forefront of technological innovation. That is because they are driven to both reduce costs while increasing customer service. That is why IVRs, speech recognition, remote agents, and VoIP, to name a few, have become entrenched in the contact center.
A natural evolution from an IVR is utilizing AI and chatbots. IVRs evolved to also include automatic responses based on word spotting, and typically, they worked fine. But they didn’t really learn. Yes, the company might have learned from recording conversations and seeing what more should be included, but that wasn’t really machine learning. Now, computers and programming have evolved to some rudimentary form of machine learning.
For instance, think of your email. When you type in an “a” for instance, it might assume you are emailing to “Amy” since the number one person you email when you type in “a” is that person. The machine has learned to a certain extent. The same thing happens with Alexa. The learning is really a set of complex algorithms that delve into large databases to come up with the most appropriate potential response. In other words, the machines have gotten fast enough, and we have enough data stored, that this “learning” can occur, and can occur relatively quickly.
So, we see the rise of “chatbots,” or the pop up boxes we see on websites, that ask us questions. Most likely this is a machine sending the answer. Try it – don’t be afraid – it’s just a computer.
I don’t think we’re quite at the stage yet where we can confidently “talk” to the computer and the computer can talk back to us, mainly due to latencies, but that is coming. So contact center agents are certainly safe for quite a while. Right now, this is relegated to the world of Watson and other such computers.
However, Dialogic is working with our partners on this, utilizing our media server and our applications to help with voice and/or video bot responses.
Check out how our PowerNova and PowerVille is integrated with one of our partners, IBM Watson.