Brian Seery, our Technical Consulting Director, spoke to Fiona Alston from The Sunday Business Post about the prospect of living in a world full of artificial intelligence and machine learning may not quite be how it was portrayed in the movies. Read the transcript of this interview below:
We’ve come to that point in the road where the words ‘artificial intelligence’ and ‘machine learning’ don’t exactly root us to the spot anymore, these are no longer new technologies. Remember a time when Haley Joel Osment’s piercing blue eyes instantly had us in a cold sweat and we prayed that Will Smith would live forever, in case we had to call on him to save the human race? I must almost sound disappointed to report that the actual use of AI and machine learning in today’s business world is really rather brilliant if slightly more mundane.
Brian Seery, technical consulting director of Singlepoint, said: “It’s really a cloud delivery model that we have that actually enables companies to do machine learning and artificial intelligence with their data. A lot of the challenges that we are solving are particularly basic in terms of actually landing data and quality of data. If the quality of the data is poor, the machine learning outputs are poor — they are only going to be as good as the data it has, so a lot of the work that we are doing is very much in that space. There are a couple of kinds of key areas that we are involved in, there is building infrastructure, we do have capability around chatbots, building chatbots for clients particularly around call-centre optimisation, and dealing with particular types of calls that are pretty high-volume and low value-type calls. There’s a big push to see how that can be automated through chat bot-type technology. It’s probably the main area we are focused heavily on at the moment.
It’s definitely getting more advanced, there are still limitations to what you can and can’t do effectively and what we are seeing with clients, particularly in areas where they get a lot of volume, high-volume calls and repetitive and simple tasks. There is a limit to what you can do. For example, if I’m looking for health insurance and I want to know am I covered for this, am I covered for that or what hospitals am I covered for, there is some basic things you can do. If you think about the volume of calls that you have to deal with and handle, there are areas where that is very cost-effective to target those pieces. I think, though certainly, the higher-end, the higher value-type call centre activity will still go through a call centre agent.
It’s all about looking at call centres to see if they’re going to start doing the more value-add activities and the more mundane, routine-type calls in terms of basic information request that would be able to gather via chat bot. I think that most people generally won’t mind that, as long as they get the answer they want. I think, definitely, people are open to chatbots as long as they are perceived to be getting from the chatbot, if you limit the type of thing you are trying to do, we are certainly seeing it is very effective. We are seeing a lot of activity in that space, particularly in the financial services and telco-type arenas.”
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