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IPsoft’s Amelia is a clear leader in artificial intelligence-powered conversations in new analyst report
NEW YORK, July 17, 2017— IPsoft continues to be recognized as a leader in the market for artificial intelligence solutions and according to a new report by Ovum entitled, On the Radar: IPsoft delivers single, comprehensive AI platform, the new version of Amelia is a “milestone” in human-machine interaction and cognitive computing. The Ovum report states, “With nearly 20 years' experience in autonomic and cognitive technology, IPsoft is a logical choice in a vendor that will automate and solve complex business problems.” The analyst recognizes “Amelia as an AI platform that can understand, learn, and interact as a..
July 16, 2017
NEW YORK, July 17, 2017— IPsoft continues to be recognized as a leader in the market for artificial intelligence solutions and according to a new report by Ovum entitled, On the Radar: IPsoft delivers single, comprehensive AI platform, the new version of Amelia is a “milestone” in human-machine interaction and cognitive computing. The Ovum report states, “With nearly 20 years' experience in autonomic and cognitive technology, IPsoft is a logical choice in a vendor that will automate and solve complex business problems.” The analyst recognizes “Amelia as an AI platform that can understand, learn, and interact as a human would to solve problems quickly.” Other highlights from the report include:
Ovum ranks IPsoft as clear leader in artificial intelligence-powered conversations
Read why a leading industry analyst says, “Amelia is an AI solution that can span an enterprise's entire value chain.” The report recognizes Amelia as a digital..
July 13, 2017
Read why a leading industry analyst says, “Amelia is an AI solution that can span an enterprise's entire value chain.” The report recognizes Amelia as a digital worker, able to function as a human would to perform tasks alongside employees. The analyst group states that the new version of Amelia is a “milestone” in human-machine interaction and cognitive computing. Real time analytics and her episodic and semantic memory enable Amelia to bring value to the entire value chain in an enterprise. Download the report
Can you Encode Intuition into Virtual Agents?
Having a good intuition or gut feeling is one of the key traits of successful people. However, it is not something that can be transferred or taught to others and most..
Allan Andersen, Director of Enterprise Solutions, IPsoftJuly 13, 2017
Having a good intuition or gut feeling is one of the key traits of successful people. However, it is not something that can be transferred or taught to others and most often people with good intuition cannot explain the “how’s” and “why’s” of their decisions. It usually comes with comments, such as “it just felt like the right thing to do or say”. Intuition is never perfect – but it can provide a reasonable answer or direction quickly. Why would we want a virtual agent to use intuition in the first place? Your best service representatives are not just knowledgeable about their space, they can read the customer and connect appropriately. They “intuitively” know how to defuse situations, express concern or excitement when needed and know when to offer new services or products and sometimes more importantly when not to present these offers. However, it is not just about upsell, it is about making sure that the customer has a positive and memorable experience when interacting with the customer service organization. We (IPsoft) just launched the “Most Human AI” and intuition is one of the desired aspects of building a more human AI. However, intuition cannot be done as a workflow, it can’t be scripted… if you can programmatically map out the right behavior, it is not intuition, rather common sense. The textbook definition of intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. It is different from thinking, logic and analytical capabilities, yet it is still grounded in experiences or memories as it requires context and practice. Otherwise, it would be no better than guess-works which obviously can be correct some of the time. Intuition is about making split-second decisions with imperfect information. In a customer service interaction, there may be a few points where real decisions are needed, however, throughout the conversation your best agents generally excel in keeping the dialog going in a seamless way and that is important. So, how can we teach a virtual agent to deliver optimal service and intuition? I believe the answer lies in the amalgamation of three steps: 1. First, we need to replicate your best agents. A large number of good and contextually relevant experiences from your best service representatives. The experiences or conversations can be annotated and stored as memories via vectors so they can be analyzed in milliseconds by the virtual agent and steer the conversation in the right direction. 2. Secondly, we need to infuse “intuition” into key decision points in the conversation or process the customer is going through. We do that by creating predictive analytical models with background information and real-time data from the actual conversation, including empathy detection which is critical to any intuition. These predictive machine learning models will allow the virtual agent to make split-second decisions based on live conversation and experiences from thousands of contextualized, positive interactions. 3. Thirdly, we need a smart feedback routine to improve the process. This is similar to how humans post-rationalize their intuition and improve it over time. This is done by re-training the predictive models over time and analyzing virtual agent to human agent escalations for improvements, such as new experiences that can be added to the virtual agent’s memory. Now, whether this would provide an approximation of human intuition is hard to tell as we don’t really understand intuition. As the famous 17th-century German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz wrote, “If you could blow the brain up to the size of a mill and walk about inside, you would not find consciousness.” In other words, there is no compartment within the brain that houses our sense of consciousness or intuition—they are undoubtedly real human qualities, yet at the same time completely intangible. Of course, this lack of tangibility makes scientific research on the subject a much more difficult undertaking. To effectively mimic such abstractions would mark a transcendent moment in the history of machine and human interaction. Perhaps by delving into some of the theories I’ve outlined above along with other hypotheses on teaching artificial intelligence how to employ intuition during live decision-making, we might achieve a better understanding of how the uncharted corners of our minds actually function.
Analyst Report Names Amelia as a Top Pick Virtual Agent for Enterprise Customer Service
NEW YORK, June 29, 2017 — IPsoft’s AI platform, Amelia, is recognized as a recommended product by industry analyst firm Forrester, in a new report published today1...
June 29, 2017
NEW YORK, June 29, 2017 — IPsoft’s AI platform, Amelia, is recognized as a recommended product by industry analyst firm Forrester, in a new report published today1. Across ten evaluation criteria for virtual agents, IPsoft, the digital labor company, was the only company to achieve eight differentiated rankings. IPsoft is strong in all core AI categories. These include machine learning, intent engine, dialogue management and natural language understanding (NLU). It is the only company to attain differentiated ranking in all four elements. The report explains that to truly meet a need for enterprise-grade customer service, solutions: "must be able to understand what a customer speaks or types, discern their intent, respond in a conversational manner, and act on a customer’s behalf." According to the report’s authors, IPsoft goes beyond providing FAQ assistance. “IPsoft fits companies looking to automate end-to-end customer-facing processes. IPsoft’s robust NLU and dialogue management, married to enterprise-grade security, make it a top pick for companies looking to do more than just answer questions,” says the report. “Having received the highest number of differentiated rankings, we believe that Forrester’s evaluation singles out IPsoft’s strength in AI capabilities that deliver the highest impact on customer experience,” said Edwin van Bommel, IPsoft’s Chief Cognitive Officer. “With the recent launch of our latest evolution of Amelia, we are on track to build out our multichannel capabilities so that customers can continue the same conversation over a range of devices and media. In parallel, our new analytics capability will tap into huge reserves of company data to support better real time decisions.” IPsoft’s Amelia is the most human and comprehensive AI platform on the market. Uniquely, Amelia connects conversations to data and processes in order to provide a personalized service to every customer, at scale. She is now being deployed in more than 50 of the world’s leading brands across a wide range of industries including banking, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications, leisure and government. Her roles span many different functions from customer service and advisor support to IT service desk and procurement for example:
3 Ways a Virtual Agent Can Deliver Superior Customer Service
With every passing day, customer expectations are perpetually being set at higher levels. Regular upgrades are being made to operating systems throughout the spectrum of..
Benjamin Jacob, Vice President & General Manager, IPsoft CanadaJuly 6, 2017
With every passing day, customer expectations are perpetually being set at higher levels. Regular upgrades are being made to operating systems throughout the spectrum of personal technologies, exposing users to more refined, intuitive interfaces. These innovations will undoubtedly affect the perception of what it means to provide superior customer service. To deliver the best possible service to customers, businesses also have to contend with rising frequency of customer calls and requests without the appropriate amount of labor to support such a high volume of activity. To remedy the lack of labor resources and boost performance levels and work output within support centers, many businesses have resorted to chatbots as a means of reducing the workload of customer support agents. Having been preloaded with scripted answers for specific queries, chatbots are effective for answering straightforward questions commonly seen on a FAQ list. These answers are devoid of emotional understanding and contextual comprehension. Cognitive virtual agents (CVA’s) such as Amelia, on the other hand, can assume and excel in several roles within a customer service department because they can empathize with a customer base at an emotional level and can understand the meaning of words, not simply react to them like triggers built into chatbots. CVA’s possess superhuman abilities that accent their human features such as machine-speed data analysis, large-scale data capture and being available 24/7 to help customers with their needs. So how exactly do cognitive virtual agents complement existing customer service teams? Here are some of the ways organizations can leverage the advanced capabilities of a CVA: Taking the hassle out of your ‘hassle’ tasks In the process of resolving an issue, there are certain tasks that are particularly tedious and time-consuming for a human agent to complete over a live conversation. In these scenarios, virtual agents can exist solely in a “whisper” capacity to advise human agents on a better course of action and act as an informational resource capable of retrieving client data quickly and accurately. CVA’s are tapped into native back-end systems so the gathering and analysis of business data is fast and seamless. This also allows companies to simplify the training requirements and systems knowledge their frontline staff requires. Bear in mind, the human agent is still communicating directly with the customer while the virtual agent is working diligently in the background. Combining the reassuring, human communication factor of a live agent with the superhuman capabilities of a virtual agent means customer calls are made shorter, equating to higher customer satisfaction and productivity levels. At the moment, Amelia is being deployed as a “whisper agent” in the call centers of one of the largest investment companies in the world. In this role, she leverages her ability to process large quantities of data and produce the analytics human agents need to address customer queries and issues. Dividing and conquering work Incorporating virtual agents into a company’s workforce means realigning the distribution of tasks. AI-driven digital labor takes over repetitive, low-level issues and allows for human agents to handle incidents of greater complexity. This type of realignment creates inter-departmental efficiency without resulting in drops of customer satisfaction (CSAT). Cognitive virtual agents possess natural language processing (NLP) combined with semantic, episodic and emotional capabilities to help them communicate with customers in a natural, human-like way. Establishing that human connection with a customer is important in any business, but perhaps none more so than in the gaming industry. A gaming company of global renown has placed Amelia at the forefront of its phisher-detecting team. Gamers have actually taken a liking to her as suggested by her 86% CSAT scores. Amelia’s ability to understand human sentiment and react appropriately made her stand out from regular chatbot solutions. Making destinations (and companies) unforgettable Imagine a concierge desk that’s always open and accessible. Whether that be in the lobby of a hotel, museum or cruise line. What if it was also available on the web or as your new BFF via sms/iMessage/What’sApp? Ready to offer suggestions on the best restaurants in the area or help answer any other questions. A virtual agent can fill this role and provide people with more time to enjoy themselves instead of having to research where to eat or locating the nearest tourist attractions. Not only that, a virtual concierge employee will ensure that every customer interaction is a positive one by leveraging its facial recognition, emotional detection and natural language capabilities to deduce how a customer is feeling and communicate with them in a way that develops trust and comfortability throughout the conversation. Recently, a CIO from a major cruise company commented on how confusing and stressful it is for their customers to board their cruise liners. He envisions AI playing a significant role in streamlining this process for their customers so they can simply board the ship with greater ease and cut out unnecessary wait times. With the overall scalability of a virtual agent and its capacity to engage in natural, humanlike conversations, virtual agents can be leveraged within any aspect of a customer service operation. It’s important to note, virtual agents can be successfully deployed in a wide range of environments, customer-facing or not, mainly because subject matter experts can teach digital employees industry-specific processes and data. In addition, they can feed them previous dialogue transcripts so they learn how to properly engage with customers during different scenarios. When you consider the increasing expectations of customers and the volume of calls and requests hitting customer service departments on a daily basis, artificial intelligence in the form of virtual agents is the only technological force capable of keeping a company’s customer satisfaction rates high while at the same time boosting workplace productivity. CVA’s and their emulation of human, neo-cortical activities have reached a point where more and more organizations have realized the potential of AI to completely reshape the face of customer experience (CX) and provide them with a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. As I’ve mentioned above, some corporations have already embarked on their own CX transformation through AI and started to carve out their own competitive advantage for the future. The question is who will turn AI into a competitive advantage first in their respective markets.