3 Reasons Speech Is Becoming Preferred for SelfService

See All in AI & Speech Technologies » Richard, great write up on NLP and where the solution can take an enterprise. I take away that there is an economic driver in all this and a serious upgrade in how virtual agents can respond properly to creat better CX. Log in or register to post comments For decades, service managers have understood the benefits of deploying self-service solutions for customer care across multiple service channels. What’s not to like? Self-service solutions give businesses a way to reduce the cost of handling support calls, avoid fines and penalties resulting from lack of compliance, and meet the demands of customers who now expect service anytime and anywhere they want it.Now, as Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting, wrote in a blog post earlier this year, “A remarkable thing is happening in the realm of customer service: After years of rejecting self-service, customers are changing their tune. Consumers of all ages are showing a preference for self-service solutions over talking to agents or using chat boxes, provided they do their jobs well.”The realization that using a natural language speech interface can improve the speed, effectiveness, and experience of the self-service interaction isn’t new, either.However, a new generation of cloud-based speech technologies coupled with a new breed of application development tools is making it easy for service organizations of all sizes to build, package, and deploy self-service apps that harness the power of the latest innovations in speech and natural language processing (NLP).That’s driving a wave of adoption for virtual agents. Gartner has revealed that 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than 2% in 2017.So why are businesses adopting natural language at such a rapid pace? Let’s explore three key drivers.Lower Cost & ComplexityIt’s certainly been possible to build advance natural language speech interfaces for years. In 2000, for example, speech-enabled IVR applications let American Airlines callers ask to “fly from Austin to Boston, next Wednesday at 8a.m.” and Charles Schwab investors to “buy 100 shares of IBM at the market price.”The problem was, these applications took a lot of time and a whole lot of money to build.First a company had to buy and host its own speech recognition and text-to-speech servers. Next it had to hire a team of developers to build the application. Finally, it would train the recognition servers and tune the system until it reached the necessarily level of service. The process could take months and cost close to a million dollars, putting speech out of reach of all but the largest call centers.Speech and NLP have taken a now-familiar path to the cloud. Like other technologies, NLP has become cheaper and more accessible to a wider variety of businesses. Service teams no longer have to manage software, hardware, and equipment, and can now pay for usage based on monthly demand.In addition, application development cycles have shrunk because cloud vendors like Google and IBM have trained their recognition servers using massive datasets they’ve acquired as millions of users interact with their cloud-based speech services. This further reduces cost and complexity.Tags:News & Viewsnatural language processingself-servicevirtual agentsAI & Speech TechnologiesCCaaSContact Center & Customer ExperienceDigital TransformationTechnology TrendsVendor Perspective12nextlast Articles You Might Like Cisco to ‘Tuck In’ Voice AI from Voicea Zeus Kerravala August 07, 2019 The acquisition will help advance the company’s cognitive collaboration strategy for Webex. Permalink Submitted by FredW941 on Wed, 12/12/2018 – 12:05 Dumas_voice.jpg No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday Ryan Daily August 30, 2019 A look at the latest news coming from Google, Oblong, Expereo, Nureva, and Verint. Comments Vonage to ‘Turbocharge’ AI Efforts Beth Schultz August 13, 2019 Acquisition of conversational AI platform Over.ai gives the company much-needed talent for deepening expertise in AI and machine learning. Richard, great write up on Let Your Bots Do the Talking Andrew Prokop August 22, 2019 AudioCode’s Voice.AI Gateway lets enterprises voice-enable bots and call them from any telephone, UC system, or WebRTC endpoint. Speech Applications Are Vulnerable, Too Gary Audin October 04, 2019 Are you really in control of your voice-enabled devices and applications? Log in or register to post comments read more

UN human rights agency disappointed with new Swiss restrictions on asylum

Despite a falling number of asylum applications, restrictive legislation being adopted by Switzerland could make access by genuine refugees to the country exceedingly difficult, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement today.“This provision is amongst the strictest in Europe, UNHCR Spokesperson Ron Redmond told a briefing in Geneva today. “We are concerned that …this law could result in some deserving cases being denied access to international protection,” he added, noting the new need for valid travel or identity documents.“We should not forget that people trying to enter a country without documentation may have valid reasons to do so,” he said. “It is often not possible for people fleeing for their lives to obtain such documents,” he said, adding that the UNHCR has repeatedly voiced its concerns relating to this type of asylum restriction.The legislation is not consistent with the rights of refugees to enter without travel documents outlined in the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, to which Switzerland was an early signatory.While acknowledging that governments do have the right to control migration flows, Mr. Redmond said the UNHCR will work with the Swiss Government to develop a “fair and effective asylum system.” Equally disappointing Mr. Redmond said, the Swiss legislation also voted down protection for individuals who though not applying for refugee status, might be fleeing serious harm from an ongoing conflict, making the country out of lockstep with European standards. Last year there were 14,000 asylum applications to the country, which was 32 per cent lower than in 2003. So far, in 2005 there have only been 4,700 applications, 44 per cent lower than the same period last year, the agency said. read more

Bicknells support will be part of his legacy

Motivated by his own experiences at Brock University, Art Bicknell (BSc ’71) has created a legacy that he hopes will inspire others.As a student, Bicknell remembers a much different University than stands today. He appreciates that the continued growth around campus and the evolving learning and research wouldn’t take place without donor support.He was able to receive scholarships for each of his years at Brock and the impact was memorable to him, beyond his education and throughout his career.“I would not have had a successful career if I did not receive scholarships during my time at Brock University,” said Bicknell.“It seemed only fitting that I give to Brock so future generations will have the same opportunities.”As a result of Bicknell’s annual support, there are now two scholarships that bear his name.Knowing that he wanted to ensure the awards continue to build and grow along with the institution, Bicknell made a further decision — to leave a gift directed to them in his will.This gift will ensure the scholarships continue to make the greatest impact possible and enable students to obtain a post-secondary education, and further research in the field of mathematics.Bicknell has truly created a legacy at Brock, in both name and impact.His family name will live on and his generosity inspires past, current and future award recipients. read more