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AI: The customer support agent that doesn’t bring the drama or call in sick

(TECH NEWS) The future of customer support is self-service and so far it sucks, but this tool may help.




Getting there

Automated support isn’t exactly a new concept, but we’ve certainly come a long way from, “Please listen closely, for your menu options have changed.” While in some cases convenient, I think most people understand the frustrations of automated voice systems enough to have had at one point one-sided yelling matches with them.

Hint: Sometimes you’ll unlock a human depending on your tone or if you cry “representative!” enough times.

It’s not the best system in place, but when you’re a large company that receives thousands of similar requests a day, a bit of deflection is needed, and that’s what we have to work with, at least until recently.

The awkward subject: job automation

We’ve previously discussed at length regarding what AI (Artificial Intelligence) is and whether or not it should be anything for us to fear. For some, there is a palpable fear of job replacement due to automation.

Fair enough.

Considering we’ve seen many factory jobs replaced due to automation, there is a justifiable reason for concern. As the world continues to change, so does innovative technology but along with that, our ability to adapt to these evolving technologies. More and more businesses are looking toward AI in order to enhance their current support experience.

A 2011 Gartner report states that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be via AI services.

One of the chief benefits of using AI self-service is that it’s adaptable. It can be utilized as a great deflection tool or a provider of support assistance without the end user having to worry about hold times or business hours. This frees up times for more senior agents to handle the more complex issues rather than being tied up with a barrage of simple questions the AI could address in a fraction of the time.

Not to mention, the AI isn’t going to call in sick or request PTO.

Meet your new support agent

One particular AI self-service AI support tool is is a “conversational support self-service that requires no coding” or operational burdens.

The company touts higher satisfaction and NPS as it’s a service that allows for 24/7 support with the ability to deflect up to 33% of tickets, “cutting down on repetitive support inquiries.”

This is a much better alternative for customers who are seeking out help, but either don’t’ know a knowledge base exists or do not have the time or patience to search out the answer they’re looking for.

The AI adapts to the conversation in order to quickly address the customer’s needs. In order for the system to “learn,” you will need to have on hand an FAQ or some sort of knowledge base along with a history of chat/support logs; so keep in mind this may not be ideal for a new business or a business that does not have a record of support inquiries. The AI assistant collects detailed information based on context delivering a 95% accuracy rate in helpfulness, allowing you to resolve complicated issues for end users much more easily. The application integrates seamlessly with other ticketing platforms such as Zendesk and Salesforce allowing you ease of viewing key insights for your day-to-day.

You can enable the self-service on your website by copy pasting a single line of code.

The site is fairly simplistic as there’s not much to see or to navigate to look more into the product. To request a demo you’ll need to provide your email, name, company name, size of your support team, and the customer service platform you’re using. Unfortunately you don’t get the demo right away. It looks like someone will reach out to you directly regarding your request.

I am still waiting on my email, but maybe they can smell BS in a fake business name. I just wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

And so we can only really speculate how well this particular service works, but this is just one of many up and coming AI customer support tools being developed. As someone who’s worked many years doing support-type jobs, I for one welcome our new overlords. With the replacement of old jobs comes the creation of new ones.

Encyclopedia Britannica didn’t see Wikipedia coming,” and look where we’re at now.


Ashe Segovia is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southwestern University. A huge film nerd with a passion for acting and 80's movies and synthpop; the pop-cultural references are never-ending.

Tech News

Career consultants help job seekers beat AI robot interviews

(TECH NEWS) With the growth of artificial intelligence conducting the job screening, consultants in South Korea have come up with an innovative response.



job screening by robot

When it comes to resume screenings, women and people of color are regularly passed over, even if they have the exact same resume as a man. In order to give everyone a fair try, we need a system that’s less biased. With the cool, calculating depictions of artificial intelligence in modern media, it’s tempting to say that AI could help us solve our resume screening woes. After all, nothing says unbiased like a machine…right?


I mean, if you need an example of what can go wrong with AI, look no further than Microsoft’s Tay, which went from making banal conversation to spouting racist and misogynistic nonsense in less than 24 hours. Not exactly the ideal.

Sure, Tay was learning from Twitter, which is a hotbed of cruelty and conflict, but the thing is, professional software isn’t always much better. Google’s software has been caught offering biased translations (assuming, for example, if you wrote “engineer” you were referring to a man) and Amazon has been called out for using job screening software that was biased against women.

And that’s just part of what could go wrong with AI scanning your resume. After all, even if gender and race are accounted for (which, again, all bets are off), you’d better bet there are other things – like specific phrases – that these machines are on the lookout for.

So, how do you stand out when it’s a machine, not a human, judging your work? Consultants in South Korea have a solution: teach people how to work around the bots. This includes anything from resume work to learning what facial expressions are ideal for filmed interviews.

It helps that many companies use the same software to do screening. Instead of trying to prepare to impress a wide variety of humans, if someone knew the right tricks for handling an AI system, they could potentially put in much less work. For example, maybe one human interviewer likes big smiles, while the other is put off by them. The AI system, on the other hand, won’t waver from company to company.

Granted, this solution isn’t foolproof either. Not every business uses the same program to scan applicants, for instance. Plus, this tech is still in its relative infancy – a program could easily be in flux as requirements are tweaked. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll actually have application software that can more accurately serve as a judge of applicant quality.

In the meantime, there’s always AI interview classes.

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Tech News

Google chrome: The anti-cookie monster in 2022

(TECH NEWS) If you are tired of third party cookies trying to grab every bit of data about you, google has heard and responded with their new updates.



3rd party cookies

Google has announced the end of third-party tracking cookies on its Chrome browser within the next two years in an effort to grant users better means of security and privacy. With third-party cookies having been relied upon by advertising and social media networks, this move will undoubtedly have ramifications on the digital ad sector.

Google’s announcement was made in a blog post by Chrome engineering director, Justin Schuh. This follows Google’s Privacy Sandbox launch back in August, an initiative meant to brainstorm ideas concerning behavioral advertising online without using third-party cookies.

Chrome is currently the most popular browser, comprising of 64% of the global browser market. Additionally, Google has staked out its role as the world’s largest online ad company with countless partners and intermediaries. This change and any others made by Google will affect this army of partnerships.

This comes in the wake of rising popularity for anti-tracking features on web browsers across the board. Safari and Firefox have both launched updates (Intelligent Tracking Prevention for Safari and the Enhanced Tracking Prevention for Firefox) with Microsoft having recently released the new Edge browser which automatically utilizes tracking prevention. These changes have rocked share prices for ad tech companies since last year.

The two-year grace period before Chrome goes cookie-less has given the ad and media industries time to absorb the shock and develop plans of action. The transition has soften the blow, demonstrating Google’s willingness to keep positive working relations with ad partnerships. Although users can look forward to better privacy protection and choice over how their data is used, Google has made it clear it’s trying to keep balance in the web ecosystems which will likely mean compromises for everyone involved.

Chrome’s SameSite cookie update will launch in February, requiring publishers and ad tech vendors to label third-party cookies that can be used elsewhere on the web.

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Tech News

Computer vision helps AI create a recipe from just a photo

(TECH NEWS) It’s so hard to find the right recipe for that beautiful meal you saw on tv or online. Well computer vision helps AI recreate it from a picture!



computer vision recreates recipe

Ever seen at a photo of a delicious looking meal on Instagram and wondered how the heck to make that? Now there’s an AI for that, kind of.

Facebook’s AI research lab has been developing a system that can analyze a photo of food and then create a recipe. So, is Facebook trying to take on all the food bloggers of the world now too?

Well, not exactly, the AI is part of an ongoing effort to teach AI how to see and then understand the visual world. Food is just a fun and challenging training exercise. They have been referring to it as “inverse cooking.”

According to Facebook, “The “inverse cooking” system uses computer vision, technology that extracts information from digital images and videos to give computers a high level of understanding of the visual world,”

The concept of computer vision isn’t new. Computer vision is the guiding force behind mobile apps that can identify something just by snapping a picture. If you’ve ever taken a photo of your credit card on an app instead of typing out all the numbers, then you’ve seen computer vision in action.

Facebook researchers insist that this is no ordinary computer vision because their system uses two networks to arrive at the solution, therefore increasing accuracy. According to Facebook research scientist Michal Drozdzal, the system works by dividing the problem into two parts. A neutral network works to identify ingredients that are visible in the image, while the second network pulls a recipe from a kind of database.

These two networks have been the key to researcher’s success with more complicated dishes where you can’t necessarily see every ingredient. Of course, the tech team hasn’t stepped foot in the kitchen yet, so the jury is still out.

This sounds neat and all, but why should you care if the computer is learning how to cook?

Research projects like this one carry AI technology a long way. As the AI gets smarter and expands its limits, researchers are able to conceptualize new ways to put the technology to use in our everyday lives. For now, AI like this is saving you the trouble of typing out your entire credit card number, but someday it could analyze images on a much grander scale.

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