When deploying a cognitive solution like Amelia, one of the most important steps an organization needs to take is the creation of a robust Cognitive Center of Excellence (CCOE). CCOEs are internal teams of full-time employees hailing from various disciplines who are responsible for the implementation, maintenance and development of cognitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies within the organization. (You can read more detailed thoughts on building a CCOE from IPsoft Director of Enterprise Solutions Allan Anderson here and here).

Internal CCOEs provide organizations with greater control over the development cycle of their AI systems, but perhaps their most important function is empowering the partnerships between human and digital colleagues. Since human members of CCOEs are already part of the company culture and understand the business environment at an intimate level, they are best suited to develop AI solutions that keep the employee and customer experience at the forefront.

The User’s Journey

One of the chief ways a CCOE cultivates productive hybrid practices between human and digital colleagues is by defining and optimizing the user journey. Much of this effort will, of course, be dependent on the work of software engineers and other IT specialists. However, many teams will benefit from the contributions of non-technical CCOE team members who take on the role of “conversational experience designers.” This role can include employees from backgrounds incorporating everything from linguists and neuroscientists to writers – people with unique insights into human communication.

These non-technical CCOE staff can bring a human element to these interactions through their unique backgrounds and areas of expertise. User journeys will also benefit from data scientists who can optimize predictive analytics and real-time processing of data, and UX designers to create visually appealing elements.

Clear Lines of Communication

One of the best ways to maintain the hybrid practice is to ensure a clear line of communication between the CCOE and the users who interact with the AI system on a daily basis. Users will be a first line of defense against potential problems and an invaluable guide for deciding the features to develop next.

If the primary users are employees, then the line of communication might take the form of a communal virtual location within an existing workplace productivity app (e.g. Slack, Trello, Asana, etc.), an email address where employees can submit ideas/problems, or IRL meetings where employees are free to share their opinions on their experiences. In instances where the user base consists of external customers, they should be encouraged to provide feedback through a Web form or email address (or, better yet, a cognitive interface).

Data is a CCOE’s Greatest Asset

Data is a byproduct of every action that takes place within a digital environment. This is particularly true when it comes to business processes automated by AI. One benefit of all these data is that it provides fine-tuned insights into how systems are performing (e.g. the type of user interactions requiring the most escalations, length of user interactions, and type of user requests).

This data can provide real-time alerts to the CCOE about any issues that need to be addressed immediately, as well as provide unbiased feedback on how well any fixes or new features are working post-deployment.

While one of the great promises of AI is automation, the technology’s greatest potential lies in empowering humans to apply their creativity at scale. It is the responsibility of the CCOE to define and optimize the partnership between human and digital colleagues.