Verizon has turned to Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI to automate its customer-service phone calls and chatbot conversations. The Register reports: The Contact Center AI technology will, we’re told, use natural-language recognition to transcribe on-the-fly customers as they talk down the line. This speech-to-text output will be fed into Dialogflow, a platform that parses the text and generates responses in real-time. Similarly, written conversations with online support chatbots will be processed in real-time by Google’s AI. The overall aim is to allow subscribers to rant, er, complain away using natural language at the computer system, from their keyboards or over the phone, and the artificial intelligence should be able to work out what customers want, and help them out, without them having to navigate a menu or bark simple commands.
And presumably the aim is to sort out simple stuff quickly without a human operator having to come on the line and deal with it. Subscribers with trickier problems should also, we hope, be directed to a human being without having to negotiate their way through a menu or a script of irrelevant procedures. The software agents can also suggest relevant online documentation, such as information on how to view or pay a bill, based on a subscriber’s request. Amusingly, if you get through to a human, or demand to speak to a person, the staffer will probably just tell you what the AI wanted to say anyway: the software will, behind the scenes, provide prompts to the call-center workers.