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Google is bringing its human-like conversational AI to the contact centre

Google is bringing its human-like conversational AI to the contact centre

01 Aug 12:00 by Lucy Cinder

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Google Cloud has announced a new enterprise contact centre solution which uses AI to mimic humans to answer simple queries and automatically route callers to the right agent.

The solution - called Contact Centre AI - was announced on stage during Google Cloud Next in San Francisco this week and builds on Google’s Dialogflow Enterprise Edition, its development suite for building conversational agents that was announced back in November. This has been enhanced using DeepMind’s WaveNet, which can then be integrated into telephony networks using the Dialogflow Phone Gateway. 

WaveNet is “a deep generative model of raw audio waveforms” developed by the Google's UK subsidiary DeepMind and announced in 2016. It promises the ability to “generate speech which mimics any human voice and which sounds more natural than the best existing Text-to-Speech systems, reducing the gap with human performance by over 50 percent.”

In a blog post, Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist at Google AI wrote: “When we studied the challenges faced by real contact centres every day, we found that customers often have simple transactional or informational requests.

"For contact centre employees, this can mean repetitive work, increased pressure on caller turnover, and less time to solve complex problems. For the callers themselves, it can mean frustrating menus, longer hold times and a diminished experience overall. This got us thinking about how we could use AI to dramatically improve the experiences of both customers and the contact centre representatives that help them.”

In practice Contact Centre AI works by replacing the old phone tree system with a virtual agent that answers questions before handing over to a human agent. Contact Centre AI also helps support agents with contextual information so that they can avoid asking for the same information again.

Source: computerweekly