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AI to Combat Corona Virus by Dr. Jassim Haji

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Artificial Intelligence (AI), Chatbots, Face Recognition and other technologies are proving to be our best hope of fighting Corona Virus and future outbreaks. Let us shed light on two main technologies which were proven to be vital in the recent weeks:

AI in Call Centres

Customer service centers are experiencing an unprecedented uptick in overall call volume. Airlines, Banks and credit card companies, including Capital One, are seeing longer-than-average hold times, with some customers reporting disconnections. Some companies warned their customers to expect “longer than usual” wait times as a result of precautionary health measures that have the company operating with a limited team.

As customer representatives are increasingly ordered to work from home in Manila, some companies are turning to AI to bridge the resulting gaps in service. The solutions aren’t perfect — there’s always going to be a need for human teams, even where chatbots are deployed  but COVID-19 has accelerated the need for AI-powered contact center messaging.

On the one hand, injecting more AI and automation into customer service is business as usual. Even before the pandemic, autonomous agents were on the way to becoming the rule rather than the exception, partly because consumers prefer it that way. According to research published last year, 25% of people prefer to have their queries handled by a chatbot or other self-service alternative. And Salesforce says roughly 69% of consumers choose chatbots for quick communication with brands.

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But AI isn’t likely to replace human agents entirely — as recent developments have shown, it’s far from a perfect science. Twitter and YouTube said recently that as they increase their reliance on AI moderation, content might be flagged or taken down by mistake, and Facebook’s decision to more widely deploy its content-moderating AI almost immediately resulted in the blocking of legitimate posts and links.

Google’s AI call center management solution that launched in general availability last November. It offers virtual AI-powered agents that automate basic customer interactions, but it also provides seamless handoffs to human agents through real-time call transcription. Additionally, its Agent Assist feature furnishes live agents with support during calls, including the aforementioned transcriptions, as well as customer intent identification and recommended articles and workflows.

Facial Recognition

The COVID-19 has also inspired facial recognition developers to integrate their tech with thermal imaging. This type of scanning is being used to sense whether people might have elevated temperatures, which might indicate whether they’ve been infected with the corona virus and help verify their identity.

What’s more, facial recognition sellers are also using coronavirus to push the idea that touch-free biometric systems are safer than, say, using a key or a fingerprint to enter a building. This concept isn’t necessarily incorrect, as stated it may be possible that the coronavirus could be spread by contact with infected surfaces, like a fingerprint scanner.

Dr. Jassim Haji

by Dr. Jassim Haji

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