Botmania Part 1 – AI in Customer Care is a Matter of Infusing, not Confusing

Published: 23 Oct 2017

Virtual Assistant technology has been a focus of market analysts for decades. Back in 1998, a paper published by this author, Personal Telephony-the Virtual Assistant Market, was already focusing on companies using speech recognition to create applications which allowed consumers to access information and entertainment. At the time, this included access to such things as sports scores, weather reports, stock quotes and so forth.  Some even enabled office productivity applications, such as updating calendars.  While the potential for such technology seemed very bright, it never really got as much traction as it could have; until now, that is.  2017 is shaping up to be an inflection point for the VA market.  Modern Virtual Assistants (VAs) are supplanting early self-service options, such as speech-enabled IVR, or these limited personalized apps, with a plethora of capabilities that speak to the change in consumer adoption and usage of technology.  Back then, speech recognition was pure novelty. Today, it’s taken for granted. Back then, related technologies, such as Big Data, machine learning (ML), natural language speech understanding (NLU), or Deep Neural Networks (DNN) had yet to enter the consumer realm.

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