IBM has added artificial intelligence and automation capabilities in IBM Watson Assistant to help businesses create enhanced customer service experiences across any channel, including phone, web, SMS, and messaging platforms.
These new features in Watson Assistant are also set to help businesses leverage AI and natural language processing to address customer issues on first contact.
The new features include the following:
- Watson Assistant Search Skill, which includes short-answer retrieval based on a question-answering (QA) system from IBM Research. This enables the virtual agent to return an answer — in a few words — from longer sentences or passages and provide the context from which the answer was derived. FAQ extraction, to help administrators keep virtual agents up to date with broader sources of information, without having to constantly make manual updates, are also available in Watson Assistant Search Skill..
- A new agent app to help customer service agents pick up with a customer right where the virtual agent left off. When a customer calls in, IBM's speech detection models provide a near real-time transcription of the conversation and pass it on to the agent during the transfer.
IBM is also collaborating with IntelePeer, a communications platform-as-a-service provider, to set up and test a voice agent. The IntelePeer Atmosphere Communications-Platform-as-a-Service is now available in Watson Assistant so users can add voice capabilities and set up new phone numbers in minutes. If businesses already have a contact center phone system, IntelePeer can also provide the connection between Watson Assistant and the existing phone system using industry standards. Using IntelePeer, Watson Assistant is now designed to connect to nearly every major contact center platform that uses the SIP protocol in as little as half an hour with no coding.
"One critical challenge facing nearly every business today is the need to better communicate with their customers and employees across all channels," said Daniel Hernandez, general manager of data and AI at IBM, in a statement. "We're continuously delivering new innovations in natural language processing, automation, and advancing responsible AI, and building a strong, open ecosystem with partners like IntelePeer to help businesses transform customer care with Watson Assistant."