conversational


PolyAI scores $12M Series A to put its 'conversational AI agents' in contact centres

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PolyAI, a London startup founded by experts in the field of "conversational AI" -- including CEO Nikola Mrkšić, who was previously the first engineer at Apple-acquired VocalIQ -- has raised $12 million in Series A funding to deploy its tech in customer support contact centres. The round was led by Point72 Ventures, with participation from Sands Capital Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Passion Capital and Entrepreneur First (EF). PolyAI's founders are graduates of EF, although they didn't meet during the company building program but already knew each other from their time at Cambridge's Dialog Systems Group, part of the Machine Intelligence Lab at the University of Cambridge. "We started PolyAI in 2017, straight after submitting our PhD theses," Mrkšić tells me. "At Cambridge, we developed state-of-the-art conversational technology, and starting a company was the best way to get this tech used in the real world. We brought many of our Cambridge colleagues with us and started building the commercial version of our conversational platform."


Digital Banking Success Requires Conversational Engagement

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At a time when consumers are doing more and more on digital platforms, they also have an increasing desire for human-like conversations that can resolve issues, provide advice, help them navigate increasingly complex platforms, and make life simpler. No longer are simple chatbots the desired resolution. Consumers want contextual engagement that reflects their situation at a specific point in time and allows them to make the choice between machine or human engagement. Conversational banking is an extension of the chatbots that were originally used to respond to the most basic of inquiries. As data availability, analytic capability and digital technology improve, a more enhanced form of digital engagement will become both personalized and scalable.


Inference Releases Natural Language Processing for AI-Powered Self-Service

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SAN FRANCISCO–March 12, 2019--Inference Solutions, a global provider of Intelligent Virtual Agents for sales and service organizations, today announced general availability of Studio 6.0, which enables service providers to bring a new and more advanced class of service to market. This latest iteration of Inference Studio, which integrates the most advanced natural language processing (NLP) and Conversational AI technologies from Google and IBM, helps businesses eliminate complex IVR menus and elevates the customer experience beyond simple speech-enabled, directed dialog systems. "Adoption by a growing number of businesses is accelerating because the accuracy of core Natural Language Understanding resources has made great strides in the past year," says Dan Miller, lead analyst at Opus Research. "Companies and their customers are becoming more comfortable conversing with Intelligent Virtual Agents." Inference's Virtual Agents are resold by over 35 telecommunications carriers around the world to businesses of all sizes.


Inference Releases NLP for AI-Powered Self-Service

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Inference Studio 6.0 Includes Support for Google Dialogflow NLP and IBM Watson Tone Analyzer Inference Solutions, a global provider of Intelligent Virtual Agents for sales and service organizations, announced general availability of Studio 6.0, which enables service providers to bring a new and more advanced class of service to market. This latest iteration of Inference Studio, which integrates the most advanced natural language processing (NLP) and Conversational AI technologies from Google and IBM, helps businesses eliminate complex IVR menus and elevates the customer experience beyond simple speech-enabled, directed dialog systems. Inference Solutions announces general availability of Studio 6.0, enabling service providers to bring a new and more advanced class of service to market "Adoption by a growing number of businesses is accelerating because the accuracy of core Natural Language Understanding resources has made great strides in the past year," says Dan Miller, lead analyst at Opus Research. "Companies and their customers are becoming more comfortable conversing with Intelligent Virtual Agents." Inference's Virtual Agents are resold by over 35 telecommunications carriers around the world to businesses of all sizes.


Symphony SummitAI: A Conversational AI Platform to Streamline IT Management

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For much of its existence, IT has been like the proverbial cobbler's children delivering cutting edge technology to the organization but rarely using that same technology to improve its own operations and management capability. There has been a recent rush to close that gap with numerous technology providers offering various forms of AI-powered solutions to help IT manage itself more intelligently and efficiently. One of those technology providers is Symphony SummitAI, which has developed a conversational AI-based IT management suite that it believes will help IT organizations streamline IT service management, IT asset management, and IT operations. The core of the solution is what the company calls Cinde, an intelligent digital agent that the company has tuned to understand IT processes and automatically take remediation actions. According to the company, it is these two factors that set it apart from its competitors.


Banking chatbot competes with your friendly bank manager

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The banking chatbot has come a long way from just linking to FAQs and referring you to a human colleague when questions get too profound. Now there is a chatbot, a virtual agent in conversational AI for banks, which its creator IPsoft claims is the first conversational banking solution. Chetan Dube, chief executive officer at IPsoft said: "With 1Bank we provide the most humanlike digital experience in the marketplace, built from the knowledge we've gained serving six of the world's leading banks with conversational AI. "We are giving banks the possibility of providing customers with their own personal banker around the clock." The virtual agent is trained with banking specific language and can communicate by web, mobile or voice, claims its parent company, a leader in enterprise AI and cognitive and autonomic solutions. The agent, called 1Bank, can open and close accounts and can recommend and even set up recurring payments from different accounts. It also advises on unpaid bills by letting customers know about incoming bills and insufficient funds in their account. The capabilities continue with the usual sorts of routine tasks you would have once needed a person to help with: finding transactions, disputing fraudulent charges, getting a new PIN and applying for a credit card. The chatbot even takes the initiative, leading customers in the next steps with travel plans, creating travel alerts after an airline purchase and recommending currency exchange and withdrawal. According to IPSoft: "Consumer relationships in the retail banking space have never been particularly strong.


Banking chatbot competes with your friendly bank manager

#artificialintelligence

The banking chatbot has come a long way from just linking to FAQs and referring you to a human colleague when questions get too profound. Now there is a chatbot, a virtual agent in conversational AI for banks, which its creator IPsoft claims is the first conversational banking solution. Chetan Dube, chief executive officer at IPsoft said: "With 1Bank we provide the most humanlike digital experience in the marketplace, built from the knowledge we've gained serving six of the world's leading banks with conversational AI. "We are giving banks the possibility of providing customers with their own personal banker around the clock." The virtual agent is trained with banking specific language and can communicate by web, mobile or voice, claims its parent company, a leader in enterprise AI and cognitive and autonomic solutions. The agent, called 1Bank, can open and close accounts and can recommend and even set up recurring payments from different accounts. It also advises on unpaid bills by letting customers know about incoming bills and insufficient funds in their account. The capabilities continue with the usual sorts of routine tasks you would have once needed a person to help with: finding transactions, disputing fraudulent charges, getting a new PIN and applying for a credit card. The chatbot even takes the initiative, leading customers in the next steps with travel plans, creating travel alerts after an airline purchase and recommending currency exchange and withdrawal. According to IPSoft: "Consumer relationships in the retail banking space have never been particularly strong.


Banking chatbot competes with your friendly bank manager

#artificialintelligence

The banking chatbot has come a long way from just linking to FAQs and referring you to a human colleague when questions get too profound. Now there is a chatbot, a virtual agent in conversational AI for banks, which its creator IPsoft claims is the first conversational banking solution. Chetan Dube, chief executive officer at IPsoft said: "With 1Bank we provide the most humanlike digital experience in the marketplace, built from the knowledge we've gained serving six of the world's leading banks with conversational AI. "We are giving banks the possibility of providing customers with their own personal banker around the clock." The virtual agent is trained with banking specific language and can communicate by web, mobile or voice, claims its parent company, a leader in enterprise AI and cognitive and autonomic solutions. The agent, called 1Bank, can open and close accounts and can recommend and even set up recurring payments from different accounts. It also advises on unpaid bills by letting customers know about incoming bills and insufficient funds in their account. The capabilities continue with the usual sorts of routine tasks you would have once needed a person to help with: finding transactions, disputing fraudulent charges, getting a new PIN and applying for a credit card. The chatbot even takes the initiative, leading customers in the next steps with travel plans, creating travel alerts after an airline purchase and recommending currency exchange and withdrawal. According to IPSoft: "Consumer relationships in the retail banking space have never been particularly strong.


Google Assistant will soon be more conversational on smart displays

Engadget

Google is rolling out "continued conversation" to smart displays over the next few days, the company has confirmed to Android Central. The tech giant launched the feature for smart speakers last year in an effort to make conversations with Assistant feel more natural. It gives you a way to ask the voice AI follow-up questions without having to say "Hey, Google" over and over again. Now, that capability is coming to all Assistant-powered smart displays in the US set to English, including Google Home Hub and Lenovo Smart Clock. The feature even comes with something extra for smart displays: a visual cue in the form of an icon in the upper left corner to show you if Assistant is still listening.


Conversational AI platform offers out-of-the-box configurations

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The reference architecture for AI applications is offered as providing enterprises comprehensive, out-of-the-box configurations to easily scale conversational AI to millions of customer interactions. The company's model creation and knowledge graph workloads can function optimally on a standard configuration of an Intel Xeon Gold 6140 processor-based server, says the company, allowing businesses to quickly deploy enterprise-grade virtual assistants on existing data center resources, without significant investments or learning curve. "Our goal from the beginning has been to design and deliver conversational AI technology that effortlessly becomes part of large enterprises," says Avaamo CEO Ram Menon. "Working with Intel we've been able to create a reference architecture that's a one-stop shop for large enterprises looking to massively scale their in-house conversational AI deployments. This technology will allow enterprises to focus on the benefits of AI for better customer relationships and a streamlined workforce."