One of the main purposes of the annual Digital Workforce Summit (DWS) is to bring AI to life. We didn’t just want to discuss AI — we wanted to show AI in action.
To do this, we built the DWS Experience AI Pavilion — a collection of booths and displays featuring real-world IPsoft use cases presented by our clients and partners. Unlike other industry events, the Pavilion provided an unprecedented level of hands-on interactivity led entirely by client companies — ones that are using automation and cognitive technologies to make their businesses even better. This is the next in a series of posts profiling Pavilion exhibitors.
If you’ve ever wondered how your voice can be used to control cognitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions such as Amelia, you should watch a demo by IPsoft partner Verbio. The Spanish technology company merges voice and cognitive solutions to improve customer experiences. At this year’s Digital Workforce Summit (DWS), Verbio displayed the many ways in which a human voice can be used to drive real-life business processes, both for consumers and internal employees.
From Strict Scripts to Real Conversations
Unfortunately, we’ve all interacted with standard automated voice response systems that offer long menus that allow us to choose from a strict set of options. You can say, “One,” to hear your balance; you can say, “Two,” to initiate a return, and so on. When companies combine Amelia’s cognitive functionality with Verbio’s voice technology, the customer experience goes from a strict, script-based call-and-response engagement, to one that provides open-ended conversations driven by natural dialogue.
During Verbio’s demo at the DWS Experience AI Pavilion, a Verbio representative played the role of a customer calling into his financial services provider. He was greeted by Amelia’s voice: “How may I help you today?” Right away, it’s clear that Amelia’s first utterance is an immediate improvement on traditional automated voice systems. Rather than listing a seemingly endless menu of options, Amelia asked an open-ended question. The Verbio rep responded by saying, “I want my checking account balance.” Amelia then requested that the caller enter or speak his account information.
In a second banking demo, the Verbio representative asked Amelia the following question, “Can you help me activate a new credit card?” Amelia responded with the following question: “Would you like to activate your Platinum Exclusive Card?” The caller confirmed he did, and Amelia then requested, “Say or enter the expiration date of the new card.” Once the Verbio rep confirmed the date, Amelia asked him to speak or enter the three-digit security code on the back of the card. Once that was complete, Amelia said, “Great. Active match. Your card is now activated and ready to use. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
To learn more about how Amelia works in a variety of banking use cases, be sure to watch the following video below.
How Does It All Work?
Every utterance spoken by a customer is captured by Amelia via her user interface (whether through a website, application, phone, mobile, etc.). She sends the utterance to a Verbio server where the company processes the audio input and transcribes the utterance into text. Verbio sends the text to Amelia and she sorts out the intent, the request, the associated business processes, the ultimate resolution and whatever else needs to be addressed. She then sends a text-based response to Verbio, which converts the text into Amelia’s voice. The entire process transpires within milliseconds.
This form of open-ended dialogue is similar to the ways in which humans interact with one another. The system is trained to respond as a human would in order to deliver a natural-sounding experience, both in terms of language, tone and speed. A consumer could say, “I want to transfer $1,000 from my checking account to my savings account.” Or a consumer could say, “I’m calling for my claim status on my order from yesterday.” What a person can say and what the system can recognize are totally unlimited.
However, it’s IPsoft and Verbio’s responsibility to train these systems to understand the specific vocabulary and business processes associated with each company, both in text and voice-based conversations. A cognitive system will only be able to help a customer resolve a banking issue if the system has been pre-trained to solve that issue.
Amelia is the result of decades of research in discrete mathematics, cognitive neuroscience, autonomic systems and embedded language models. Click here to learn more about how she is trained. For more real-life examples of how AI is changing customer experiences, be sure to read our extensive coverage of DWS 2019.