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Conversational AI...and the Rise of the Humans...

Many 'Automation' companies have been selling the concept of 'Digital Workers' over the last 7+ years...

In this blog, we explore the history to this and the evolution of the 'Digital Worker' with the introduction of Conversational AI and how this more recent development is able to unlock human potential...right now!

Simplifying the message…

If you have been leaning into the Automation market for the last few years, you may have come across the terms, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML)…the list goes on.

All have been pulled under a neat banner called ‘Intelligent Automation’…and as technology develops folks continue to push capabilities under this banner.

A lot of companies have been selling the concept of ‘Digital Workers’… when describing these capabilities to their prospects and customers, as an easy way to visualise the art of the possible in leveraging these technologies.

I’ll put my hand up and say ‘guilty as charged’…as I too have been contributing to putting this message into the market over the last few years.

It’s not a sin to try and simplify the message… and contextually from a market maturity perspective, wasn’t a bad way of describing the capabilities of these technologies, but perhaps in reality not an entirely accurate, as the market has moved on...

A capability over-shot?

Essentially, what Robotic Process Automation provides is the ability to move data from one application to another, whilst leveraging rules you can code into the bot, to follow a set of work instructions.

Yes, this is replicating and automating the movement of data from humans and putting this low-end task into the hands of ‘bots’. It is of high value to within a lot of functions and will continue to be for some time to come.

The same goes for Intelligent Document Processing, which is essentially using a range of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities to understand what is on a document, where it is located and then extracting the data and moving it into a target application.

This is certainly one step closer to the true ‘Digital Worker’ but again is limited in its function in performing human tasks in its own right. But still a very powerful proposition for removing data entry related tasks from humans.

Enter…Virtual Assistants

Enter the world of ‘Virtual Assistants’, which in my opinion is actually an under-representation of the capabilities and closer to the term ‘Digital Worker’

Let me explain…

Today Virtual Assistants are often referred to, in the same breath as Conversational AI…

Now, what is Conversational AI? You ask…

The best way to think about Conversational AI, or Virtual Assistants, is much closer to what a human can do, by replicating more elements of the human brain. Not only the cognitive, but also the emotive…

Virtual Assistants can interact and talk to humans. Very much like Siri, Alexa or Cortana, but now being applied in a business context, but with far more processing capabilities once the request on the Virtual Assistant is understood by the Virtual Assistant.

This now takes the whole concept of the ‘Digital Worker’ to a new level., whereby this form of Digital Worker can understand your voice in multiple languages and understand your intent, sentiment, emotion and have a voice conversation with you.

This form of Digital Worker can also take digital inputs, like Chat Bot input, Webforms, SMS, Social Media and leverage the same capabilities to understand what your needs and emotions.

This could mean:

  • Sharing knowledge with you…For example, the price of your products or services.
  • Understanding if you are frustrated with the level of service you are getting from the product or service
  • Or understanding your intent to purchase something and guide you through the buying process.

The use cases for Virtual Assistants is only limited by your thinking on where they can be applied and how they can enhance your customer experience or your employee experience.

Of course there will be certain environments where humans are the best form of first call interaction, like in Emergency situations, but this leaves a huge field of opportunity for introducing Virtual Assistants.

So what? You say!

The answer is simple. For example, in a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) context, companies have been shifting their customer ‘self-resolution’ rates from 25% to 75%, with the use of Virtual Assistants as a core part of their HR workforce strategy.

In today’s world, with a large psychological preference (let’s face it) not to talk to each other…but rather deal with each other through digital means, this provides a fantastic opportunity to increase your customer satisfaction and only inject human intervention into the process when it is necessary.

The human potential that can be unlocked is now enormous!

This provides a massive opportunity for businesses in all industries to leverage an incredibly powerful set of capabilities, to improve their customer experience whilst also making their entire workforce more effective.

And the journey into Conversational AI has only just begun at this level of human capability replication...

The Blended Workforce…

The opportunity this represents for unlocking human potential in business by passing on the repeatable work to Virtual Assistants and the range of Automation technologies available, is now enormous.

As discussed in our previous blog ‘Automation Made Easy…’ it is not the individual automation capabilities, but the combination of these technologies that can make a significant contribution to your business.

Imagine a world in the not-too-distant future…set by you, where your company is employing its people via the historic HR methods and the HR team and functional team leaders are designing and submitting Role Descriptions to build Virtual Assistants …or even building their own Virtual Assistants, as part of your workforce strategy.

It's all possible…NOW!

Unlocking Human Potential!

Looking beyond the ability to inject a blended workforce strategy into your business, is the development of new and exciting roles for your people, to focus on lifting your human workforce contributions to take your business to the next level…is available to you.

Even at a rudimentary level…imagine having your people, who have invested their time and possibly your company’s money into their development, actually unlocking and applying what they have learned on those courses you have paid for, being applied to a greater extent to improve the performance of your business.

At a high impact level, imagine freeing up your call centre sales stars and putting them in the field to focus their development on more complex sales that require a high human touch.

Imagine reducing service call volumes on your staff, so that they can focus ‘proactively’ on fixing problems in your product and feeding the product improvements into your next release, so that you can unlock the innovation your company is holding back on releasing to the market.

I understand the ‘what’…but what about the ‘how’?

Giving you all these high-level value statements and setting vision for what ‘good looks like’ in the near future, is the easy bit…Getting started is the hard bit…

At A2B we value the term ‘Transformation’ when talking about embracing these technologies.

Automation technologies really do represent a ‘Transformation’ opportunity to grow your business and adopt a new workforce strategy to optimise business performance in all areas of your business.

A2B Transformation is here to simplify the complex for you…

We can assist you in the adoption of these technologies…but also help you unlock your organisations human potential to ‘round out’ your Automation strategy.

We don’t just stop at delivering Automation enabled change, we close the loop on your intended Transformation by unlocking human potential to accelerate business optimisation.




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