In the early 90s my family used to have dinner together in my parents dining room. There was a large bookshelf and while many books were covered in dust, one particular row was not. That row had about twenty volumes of the „Brockhaus Encyclopedia“ and it was mostly used to stop us from arguing about facts. When we were not sure if badminton balls were made of polyamide, someone would pull out volumes 14 (OST-POQ) and 2 (APU-BEC) to be able to continue a discussion based on facts.
Also in the early 90s, when I called my bank, I heard the clicking of a keyboard in the background while the consultant looked up my data.
In the early 2010s, the Encyclopedia lookup at home was replaced by searches on the cellphone. Today we just yell a quick „OK Google, what are badminton balls made of?“.
When I call my bank today though, I still hear the clicking of a keyboard, while the consultant looks up my data.
An AI in the conversation
To be honest: I would be somewhat irritated to hear them yell „OK Bank Computer, look up the data for Stefan!“. And that‘s why businesses today, when they think about adding value to person to person conversations through AI, most of them come up with some kind of internal chat bot that assists the agent. This again results in keyboard clicking and a consultant waiting for a response. It is also very hard to think of a chat bot that does not require more typing than a simple form.
Have you ever overheard a colleague struggling in a phone call? When you knew the correct answer, you probably whispered it to them and they were then able to fulfill the customers request. „Augmented Conversation“ is exactly that, but without whispering. An AI recognizes when an agent needs certain answers or has to perform a certain task. It listens in and suggests answers or triggers actions like creating a calendar entry or updating a phone number in a database.
Benefits of Augmented Conversation
No typing, no waiting. We believe that person to person communication will not be replaced by person to AI communication in the near future. We believe that computers can enable people talking to each other to understand each other better. They can help perform tasks faster and provide us with more time for human interaction.
Augmented Conversation makes dialogues better and improves human interaction. It does not distract people or tries to replace them. We believe, that there are hundreds of use cases, not just in improving productivity, but also security, healthcare and many more. That is why we continue to research this technology. We do not think another chatbot is the answer to AI in B2B conversations.
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