When a child learns to speak, they do so through interaction with parents and siblings. They mimic the sounds they hear; they find associations with those sounds, they learn what responses they get, they pick up accents and slang, short cuts and alternatives; in short, they acquire the language they hear spoken around them. When technology learns language, it has always started from a different place. In the past chatbots have translated all sounds to text, stumbling over unexpected language or accents, making the whole experience frustrating and often futile. But this is changing, the technology is evolving, the bots are growing up.
Contextual understanding and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are just two of the components we at Mitra have brought together to develop our Conversational AI platform. We have elevated the conversational experience, through technological innovation, providing an engaging, more ‘human’ communication experience. We have also unlocked many digital services for those who struggle with accessibility, for example the elderly or visually impaired. Our Conversational AI understands what the customer is requesting without sending them into cycles of doom, drawing information from APIs to enhance the customer experience. By learning as it goes along, following the conversation history, or ‘remembering’ what has gone before, it also avoids tedious repetition, making the whole experience not only effective but also effortless for the customer.
Applications for this technology abound, and the benefits are far reaching. Virtual Agents increase voice enabled productivity by providing information efficiently or by speeding up issue resolution, thus increasing customer satisfaction and retention. Virtual Agents are always available, share learning and can be replicated as needed, thus ensuring much reduced waiting times for customers, especially at peak times. Conversational AI also liberates highly trained, valuable staff from repetitive work, making them available to perform more interesting, demanding and complex tasks, increasing employee satisfaction and reducing churn.
As an entrepreneur I can see the far-ranging benefits to both business and customers. You don’t need to imagine a world where you can have a digitised conversation and be understood, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Echo Dot are examples of the technology working effectively today. But as the bots grow up, these conversations evolve and become more complex, the responses more appropriate, the outcomes more fruitful, no matter how you choose to articulate your needs. Mitra is currently negotiating with a large healthcare provider in the United States and is partnering with several companies, pooling our innovative and entrepreneurial drive and our technical expertise, and sharing product platforms to create the Conversational AI solutions required for this major project.
Of particular interest to me are the many applications in Healthcare, meaning the benefits of this technology can be enjoyed by many. In Healthcare scenarios, patients or clients are often stressed and dealing with situations and procedures outside of their comfort zone. It is therefore vital that the virtual agent has the maturity to take an initial call from a patient, pass them through security to authenticate their identity, and check their level of cover. It can then offer a choice of Hospitals and Consultants, make appointments, order tests and send out supporting documentation. This must all be achieved with ease, instilling confidence and calm in the patient. Conversational AI can also seamlessly integrate with Dynamedics, Mitra’s innovative, lowcode platform which helps organisations deliver remote, high quality, digital health and wellbeing services.
Few technologies alone increase job satisfaction, reduce wait times and costs, speed up issue resolution, have algorithms that ‘learn on the job’ getting more efficient over time, and transform the user experience for the better. It is not a leap to say Conversational AI is a technological revolution and the voice of the future.
Dr Ashok Suppiah
Founder & CEO Mitra Group