Brian Seery Singlepoint

Brian Seery, Singlepoint’s CTO was featured this week in The Sunday Business Post – AI Report 2019.

AI has given businesses a chance to be on hand 24 hours a day without added pressures on their workforce. Chatbots of ten take up the slack as employees exit the office, and customers are beginning to accept this change in customer service. But where is it all going? How far can AI go with chatbot intellect? reports Fiona Alston from The Sunday Business Post.

“With the advancements of AI, there’s a lot more that can be done now, particularly with things like NLP – natural language processing – and sentiment analysis, so the ability to make conversational chatbots that are more AI driven and handling more complex problems is definitely an area of expansion, particularly around areas of self-servicing accounts being able to problem solve,” said Brian Seery, Chief Technology Officer of Singlepoint.

Singlepoint mainly serves the telco, insurance and financial services industry in the areas of digital transformation, machine learning and AI, and cloud migration. “I think what we are seeing now, as chatbots have evolved, is that whole area of what we call CUX or conversation user experience. The chatbots can get more advanced: how you do things like personal development, how you personalise content for guided conversations. That is a whole area that needs to be thought about and wasn’t really thought about previously because it wasn’t really possible. That’s where we’ll see a big shift in how to actually make those chatbots usable from an interactive perspective.”

Before, we might have just had a chatbot converse with us, taking details so a human could call back when the office was open or logging a query that involved only the most basic of conversations. Now, the opportunities to lessen the load for humans are growing. But according to CB Insights, the growth in AI chatbots doesn’t quite match the promises. “For many enterprises, chatbots became synonymous with AI, but the promise isn’t keeping up with reality,” says Seery.

“Despite their widespread adoption, chatbots have struggled with triaging – gauging the urgency of a situation – in complex fields like health and insurance. AI could improve chatbot capabilities in these fields, but it remains a particularly hard task for algorithms.“From a technical perspective, we are there,” said Seery. “The technology to be able to run those analytics and integrate those, is actually there.” If the technology is available to us, then should we all be availing of AI to reduce the workload of our employees? We’ve got data, we have the tech, what next? “All of our customers, at different maturity levels, are talking about AI. I think the reality is that some are far more progressed than others. 

The challenge is probably twofold for some of our customers: they’ve got a lot of other activities that they have to do whether that be, you know, registry-type work or other areas around selling big products, AI is part of those but not necessarily the full piece. “Where you are really looking to leverage AI is where you really need good-quality data. Before anyone says they have AI and they can make all these great things happen, the AI is only as good as the data that you hold, that’s what a lot of people don’t really understand. 

“Customers have to spend a lot of time getting their data into a fit state so that it can be consumed. You need to understand the consistencies across it, otherwise you are not going to get effective results from that.” A recent Gartner report suggested that, in 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions will be handled without a human agent. Looks like it’s time to get our data under control.

If you would like to speak with Brian or any of our team, please contact  info@singlepoint.ie