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Companies can improve use of data with artificial intelligence

Richard Jones

May 23, 2013

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Companies can improve their operations by taking appropriate measures to improve data quality, ensuring that the information on their customers is accurate and up-to-date. After that step, another question arises - what's the best strategy for turning raw information into actionable lessons on providing customer service?

Cell Centre Clinic has one suggestion - artificial intelligence can play a role. Two years ago, IBM developed a supercomputer, dubbed "Watson," who was able to win a "Jeopardy!" championship by outthinking a pair of incredibly bright humans. If we've reached the point where computers can be superior thinkers to humans in certain ways, then why not allow them to improve customer service efforts in the business world?

The ANZ Banking Group states that in 2013, Watson is now ready to be a consumer care agent. By deploying an application called "Ask Watson," the bank and other firms like it can have a robot respond to customers' questions rather than a human. Watson will be smarter, faster and more efficient than a human call center agent.

"We envision Watson to serve as cognitive assistant, adept and quick at making sense of Big Data, that can empower our regional bank advisors to better serve our two million wealth management clients across the region," ANZ chief executive officer Joyce Phillips said. "We are pleased to explore with IBM how Watson can enable smarter, faster financial recommendations – yielding a customer experience that is simple, personalized and steeped in data-informed insights."

Forbes notes that back in 2011, Watson was a game-show king, defeating former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on national television to win $1 million. By answering customers' questions via email, chat and mobile app conversations, he might be even more valuable in the years ahead.

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