Amelia is Stunning | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

For those of you who don’t know who or what Amelia is, she is IPsoft’s cognitive agent or, in other words, an Artificial Intelligence agent that can converse with people and act as an electronic call center agent. She can do what I would say is at least 30 percent or more of the work currently performed in today’s call centers.

When I met Amelia, she read a Wikipedia article and had a conversation about it with us. She effectively operated similar to an eighth-grader’s ability to synthesize what was in that article and answer questions.

She went on to show how she could converse with us to open bank accounts, help us file insurance claims, or sell us a homeowner’s or car insurance policy. It was natural English and included handling sarcasm, implied questions and answering in a way that was both natural and complete.

As someone who has seen a lot of automation and a lot of neat technologies, I’m truly impressed with Amelia. In terms of usefulness, I put this up there with my experience when I met IBM’s Watson. The difference between the two experiences is that it’s much easier to see how Amelia can immediately take over functions and jobs that I see in everyday life with very little programing and interfaces; whereas, Watson looks to be very powerful (smart) but requires substantial up-front investments to implement. In the use cases where I watched Watson perform, he was a companion to a knowledge worker enabling that worker to perform at a level that, unassisted, the worker would never be able to do alone. Both are very powerful; Watson enables more analytical work, and Amelia eliminates mundane tasks.

Mark me down as a believer that as Amelia is adopted across the industry, this AI technology will transform the customer service industry as we currently know it. I’m a converted fan for both Amelia and Watson and can’t help wondering whether, in some use cases, the two of them should get together and complement each other.

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