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This AI is coaching human call center workers in sympathy

Posted: 1 February 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

An AI is helping to coach call centre workers on their emotional intelligence.

Boston-based startup Cogito has created a software that has learned to detect problems in conversation.

It works by automatically assessing the dynamics of a conversation and has been trained to recognise certain characteristics. Using artificial intelligence and behavioural science, Cogito performs in-call voice analysis and delivers real-time guidance to agents.

Based on verbal cues from customers, Cogito’s dashboard will flash an alert on the employee’s computer screen and offer suggestions for redirecting the conversation.

By analysing speaking patterns and conversational dynamics like tone, interruption, speed and tension, it can guide customer service agents to speak with more empathy, confidence, professionalism and efficiency.

“The rise of human replacement technology and chatbots is deflecting low-value calls like, ‘I want to change my address,’ so the actual volume of complex calls going into customer service providers is rising,” CEO and co-founder Joshua Feast said.

Feast founded Cogito, in 2007, with Sandy Pentland, a professor in the MIT Media Lab who specialises in studying human dynamics.

The collaboration between human customer service agents and the AI tool gives a glimpse of how machine learning can enhance human work in the future.

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