Artificial Intelligence in the Contact Center

February 3, 2018

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are all the buzz in the contact center these days. It’s an up-and-coming technology that is going to be getting a lot more attention in the coming months and years. If Artificial Intelligence isn’t something on the minds of your company’s call center leaders it should be!The industry trends and terminology are changing quickly. In 2015 the focus was on the Virtual Agent. At that time, the term Virtual Agent meant that the call center agent worked remotely from home and was not located in the call center, or maybe not even the same state as the call center. Today we talk about Virtual Agents and we are not talking about a person at all, we are talking about bots – and they are taking our call centers by storm. Research shows that the global market for intelligent virtual assistants will grow at a compounded annual rate of 38.8% over the next five years to 17.7B by the year 2023.

As we begin to talk about Artificial Intelligence and how it will change our call centers, I thought it would be helpful to cover some terminology:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)Computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Machine LearningAn application of artificial intelligence that provides systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves.

Blended AIThe seamless blending of bots, automation and AI with human agents and employees.

Natural Language Understanding (NLU)The ability for a computer program to understand human speech as it is spoken.

ChatBot/Bot/Virtual AssistantA computer program that runs automated tasks and can be designed to simulate conversation with human users.

Adaptive LearningA type of data analysis technology that exacts knowledge without being explicitly programmed to do so; includes closed-loop machine learning systems and in-stream analytics.

Directed DialogFacilitates a structured conversation with inquiry responses determined by predefined options.

AutomationThe creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of services; reduces costs by saving on labor and provides consistent experiences.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the evolving world of Artificial Intelligence. The important thing to know is that you don’t have to navigate it alone. There are a lot of great resources out there and the experts at EDCi are always here and ready to help – all you need to do is start the conversation!

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