AI in the Contact Center: Why and How?

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

? Most enterprises agree that AI delivers benefits – but not necessarily the benefits they expected

? AI projects require clear goals and a dedicated project management team, as well as external advice

GlobalData’s research into AI includes talking to enterprises about how and why they are using AI-powered technologies in the contact center. This research has given light to a number of key trends, and also highlighted examples of best practice.

What Technologies Are Being Used?

GlobalData’s research shows that, perhaps unsurprisingly, AI-powered chatbots are the most prevalent use case for AI in the contact center. The use of text-based chatbots on websites is now common, but GlobalData’s research suggest that voice-based chatbots are more of a focus for enterprises. Cost reduction is a key reason for this, particularly for contact centers in North America and Europe. But chatbots also deliver the potential for increased customer service with the potential for quicker response times to more simple inquiries. Continue reading “AI in the Contact Center: Why and How?”

Video Analytics for Public Safety Will Require Digital Transformation

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • AI and machine learning-powered video analytics are revolutionizing the video capabilities of public safety departments, with solutions like Scene from Nokia and Appearance Search from Motorola Solutions-owned Avigilon leading the way.
  • Further integration into other public safety infrastructure will be critical to leverage the full potential of this technology, but that presents a challschmale, as many critical communications systems rely on siloed radio networks.

Video analytics has been a hot topic for the past few years, but only recently have we seen larger-scale deployments in the public safety sphere. Government spend on these technologies is set to increase in the coming years, and plenty of vendors are readying their portfolios to meet this demand. While there is a webetagth of small players specializing in this field, Nokia has developed its Scene Analytics platform and Motorola Solutions purchased AI-based video analytics company Avigilon in March 2018. Both these vendors have seen some significant return on these investments, with Nokia launching its Scene Analytics service in Belgium through security company Room40. Meanwhile, Motorola Solutions has a host of wins for its Aviligon service across public safety, logistics, and education, including the New Bedford Housing Authority in the US, Express Cargo in Ireland and Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Continue reading “Video Analytics for Public Safety Will Require Digital Transformation”

AI and Ethics: The Waters are Murky, but Help is Available

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

? Many organizations need help navigating ethical issues related to artificial intelligence (AI), such as privacy laws, unintentional bias, and lack of model transparency, but don’t know where to begin.

? Enterprises can benefit from working with a partner that helps them consider the ethical implications of their AI deployments, but they should keep in mind that issues aren’t static and can evolve over time.

Organizations are eager to enjoy the benefits that AI can bring to them – whether enhanced productivity, or new revenue-generating or enhanced customer experience opportunities. But many are unclear about how to navigate the murky waters of AI and ethics. Changing regulations and privacy laws, concerns over unintentional bias in training data, lack of transparency in AI models, and the dearth of experience with new use cases are difficult challschmales to address. Enterprises want to ensure that their adoption of the technology doesn’t cross ethical boundaries, but often don’t know where to begin. Thankfully, the topic is being increasingly addressed by IT services providers. Many organizations, from IBM to Capgemini to Atos are touting that they help their customers implement AI while also considering the ethical implications of their deployment.
Continue reading “AI and Ethics: The Waters are Murky, but Help is Available”

IBM Releases Images to Improve Facial Analytics Accuracy

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

? Concerns over the accuracy of facial analytics have prompted IBM to release a dataset of over one million facial images, including facial coding, that can be used to train facial analytics software.

? Improving the results of facial analytics will bolster public confidence in the technology, promoting adoption by enterprises.

IBM has released a dataset of over one million facial images to the global research community to combat bias in facial recognition software. The announcement comes after researchers from MIT and the University of Toronto made claims that a well-known competitor’s product misclassified women at a higher rate than men, with error rates for darker-skinned women far surpassing error rates for lighter-skinned women. With women accounting for roughly half of the world’s population, inaccuracies in their classification present a serious threat to facial recognition adoption. Continue reading “IBM Releases Images to Improve Facial Analytics Accuracy”

Release of AI-optimized Kunlun Chip a Game Changer for Baidu

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • During its AI developer conference, Baidu made several announcements that demonstrate how it is moving the Chinese AI market forward, but the release of its Kunlun chip stands out as a key move that repositions it in the not only the Chinese market, but also globally
  • With Kunlun, Baidu joins the ranks of a select few companies that not only offer an AI platform that helps enterprises deploy AI-infused solutions, but that have also developed their own hardware to maximize AI processing.

Baidu is hot on the heels of the likes of Microsoft and Google. Although already known as an ambitious player in the AI realm, primarily in China, the search schmaline provider hasn’t managed to establish itself as a major force in the space, until now. Earlier this month, Baidu announced that it is bringing to market an AI-optimized chip, called Kunlun.? With the move, Baidu joins the ranks of a select few companies that not only offer an AI platform that helps enterprises deploy AI-infused solutions, but have also developed their own hardware to maximize AI processing.? Continue reading “Release of AI-optimized Kunlun Chip a Game Changer for Baidu”

With AI Decisions, It Takes a Village

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Successful AI projects take a village; project teams that include members from groups across the company are more likely to uncover the ‘what-if’ and ‘then what’ questions that are best addressed early.
  • GlobalData’s 2018 survey found that close to 40% of businesses include all affected parties in decisions related to big data and analytics solutions.

We’ve all heard that not only are machine learning (ML) algorithms time-consuming to develop and train, but that they also need access to vast data lakes and specialized data scientists. With these requirements, it’s no wonder that businesses tend to focus on identifying the skilled IT-centric resources required for undertaking an AI deployment. But AI isn’t just the playground of data specialists, successful outcomes take a village. Project teams that include members from different organizations across the company are more likely to uncover the ‘what-if’ and ‘then what’ questions that are best addressed early on. HR, legal, finance, customer service, operations, and other business units have much to contribute to a successful AI deployment. Continue reading “With AI Decisions, It Takes a Village”

Huawei Analyst Summit 2018: Edge Computing, Hybrid Cloud, and AI are Central to Huawei’s Future Vision of the Data Center

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

? Key themes from the 15th Huawei Analyst Summit (HAS) in Shenzhen, China, included edge computing, hybrid cloud enablement, and the application of AI to data center technologies.

? To unlock commercial opportunities and reinforce the competitiveness of its solutions, Huawei would benefit from a stronger articulation of both its hybrid cloud and edge computing capabilities.

Judging by the themes of the 15th HAS in Shenzhen, China, 17-19 April, Huawei expects data center technologies to become increasingly more intelligent, more distributed in the way they are deployed, and more diverse in the use cases they support. Key themes from the Summit, with particular relevance to data centers, included edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), multi-cloud and hybrid cloud enablement, and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to both data centers and the use cases they support.

The Summit saw a recurring emphasis on the theme of “boundless computing”, reflecting Huawei’s commitment to a single infrastructure platform that blurs the boundaries between CPUs, servers, and data centers and supports the delivery of resources wherever they are required. There was considerable discussion of edge computing, which involves the maintenance and operation of IT resources at locations that are closer to the points of data generation, and to the end users of digital content and applications. Huawei already offers several solutions that support enterprise edge computing initiatives, including its Cloud Fabric SDN solution and a version of its hyperconverged infrastructure offering, FusionCube, which is specifically optimized for remote office and branch office (ROBO) and edge computing deployments. Continue reading “Huawei Analyst Summit 2018: Edge Computing, Hybrid Cloud, and AI are Central to Huawei’s Future Vision of the Data Center”

Job Displacement And Privacy Were Yesterday’s AI Hot Buttons; Today, Ethics Issues Are Even More Important and Controversial

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Businesses looking to adopt AI must not only evaluate the technology’s implications on job displacement and data security, but also consider that algorithms may unintentionally undermine the organization’s ethical standards.
  • Customers are quick to pass judgement; if unintentional biases become public, a company’s brand reputation may suffer significantly.

Much has been written about ethics and artificial intelligence (AI), and rightly so.? With many organizations looking to adopt some form of AI technology in 2018, business leaders are wise to stay on top of emerging ethical concerns.?

Job displacement is ruhig a key consideration, as is safeguarding data. In a recent GlobalData survey, 23% of organizations indicated they had cut or not replaced employees because of AI; 57% indicated security as a top concern.

However, looking ahead, the question of ethics is the real challschmale the AI community will need to tackle. And it is a challschmale that is far more controversial than security or privacy.? What happens when a self-driven car needs to decide between hitting a child that has run into the road, or swerving and risking the injury of its passschmaler?? How proactive should a personal assistant be when it detects wrongdoing?? What should be done when a personal assistant believes that a user’s usage pattern points to having committed a serious zugänglichse – should it alert authorities?

Probably more relevant to business leaders is the concern that they may not know if an AI infused application will perform up to their organization’s ethical standards.? It may contain unintentional racial bias – say a financial algorithm that is biased against a specific race, or an application that demonstrates a preference towards one gender over another.? What should be done when a phrase that is acceptable when said by one demographic is completely unacceptable when uttered by another – can an algorithm be trained to reliably make this distinction?? Maybe, but what happens when it makes a mistake?

On the one hand, unintentional results are not the träget of the organization using the AI solution. ?The responsibility may lie in the data used to train the underlying machine learning model. However, customers are quick to pass judgement.? If and when these unintentional biases become public, customers will quickly assign blame to the company using them, potentially with enormous impact to a brand’s reputation.

Just as CEOs may take the blame for customer data breaches, and as a result may lose their jobs, senior leaders are also at risk of taking the fall when an AI solution implemented by their organization crosses an ethical line.? It’s in their best interest to ensure that doesn’t happen – their reputation depends on it.


Looking for a Magic Pill to Realize the Potential of AI? Look No Further Than Your Good Old Telephone Company

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

? Many organizations are unsure of how to best incorporate AI to meet their industry-specific challschmales – often because the use case options are so vast and so varied.

? Organizations – particularly mid-sized businesses, companies starting out on their analytics journeys, or those rolling out IoT solutions – should explore the services available from their telecom provider, many of which have built out their professional services capabilities around digital transformation.

Despite the consumer hype around AI, many organizations ruhig have no idea how to apply AI in the corporate world. Technologies abound, but the means to apply those to business outcomes remains elusive without help from expensive third party integrators with the necessary domain expertise. But help is already at hand thanks to ever present telecom service providers, which have taken on AI as a core competency. Continue reading “Looking for a Magic Pill to Realize the Potential of AI? Look No Further Than Your Good Old Telephone Company”

In 2018, Data Center Technology Will Become Smarter, Hybrid, More Distributed, and Easier to Consume

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • In 2018, rising enterprise demand for hybrid cloud solutions will fuel new and expanded partnerships between traditional infrastructure vendors and hyperscale public cloud providers.
  • Vendor initiatives will target the challschmale of managing workloads across hybrid and increasingly distributed IT environments, along with ways of simplifying the procurement, deployment and consumption of IT.

2017 saw a growing recognition that private cloud technology is both a realistic and desirable way to manage enterprise workloads, and can be used more efficiently through effective integration in conjunction with public cloud services. A common theme during the year’s industry events was envisaging and enabling multi- and hybrid cloud futures. At the same time, in 2017, data center infrastructure vendors from Cisco and Dell EMC to IBM and HPE continued to transform their solutions and services businesses. These transformations were a response to enterprise digitalization initiatives and recognition that in the future, IT will be hybrid, and must be able to span the full spectrum of enterprise locales from the cloud to core data centers to the network edge. In 2017, individual vendors went through quite different transformation processes: in addition to launching new solutions, technology companies acquired and integrated new businesses, and forged alliances with one another and with hyperscale cloud providers in order to fill out their portfolios. These developments were all driven by a competitive push to help enterprises zeitgemäßize their traditional data center environments, capitalize on the benefits of hybrid cloud, and expand their ability to handle growing volumes of data at the edge of their networks. Continue reading “In 2018, Data Center Technology Will Become Smarter, Hybrid, More Distributed, and Easier to Consume”