Primal Numbers – Artificial Intelligence

Think You’re smarter than a fifth grader? You probably are, but don’t get too comfortable about your awesome intelligence yet. Even if your IQ makes you sound more like Einstein than Jughead, artificial intelligence could soon replace you, at least on the job. According to one prediction, it will only be another five years before artificial intelligence (AI) has taken over most customer service jobs.

That prophecy comes straight from Dmitry Aksenov, a 21-year-old entrepreneur. don’t let his youth fool you, though. As The Telegraph reports, Aksenov is a robotics and AI specialist?and he’s been ?working on building computers that ?think like human beings? since he was 10 years old.?

He’s the founder of the technology firm London Brand Management, which offers ?an artificial intelligence platform that can mirror, replicate and automate human interactions across industries and communication channels.? Simply put, it will answer your questions and solve your customer service issues faster than and just as reliably as a human can.

But is it really possible for a computer to understand the nuances of all but the most straightforward questions? After all, it isn’t often that we call a customer service rep and phrase our questions in direct terms that are impossible to misinterpret. Whether It’s a parcel that didn’t arrive or some confusion about your cell bill, it can often be difficult enough to make a flesh-and-blood service rep understand?and come up with a common-sense solution.

It does happen, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised lately by some very knowledgeable, helpful service reps. But most of us have at least one, and probably several, horror stories about customer service encounters from hell.

So how does Aksenov’s AI plan to improve on that? For starters, his company’s system makes itself available 24/7. No more waiting for phone lines to open at 8:00 a.m., only to be told that all their service reps are busy helping other customers?and You’re caller number 100 in line. And AI is fast, much faster than the average human. According to LBM’s website, AI ?can reply to a potential customer’s question with the correct information in milliseconds.?

As for providing the human touch, AI ?echoes? the caller’s tone of voice and responds the same way. That will probably work fine if a caller is calm and patient. But It’s amusing to picture a human-to-robot phone call devolving into a shouting match if the caller is less than polite.

Complex questions shouldn’t pose any problem, though. As Aksenov told The Telegraph, his AI system understands natural language and it also ?interprets context, sentiment, and can even understand humour.?

If the system really can do everything it claims, it might just put an end to voicemail black holes, long waits, and frustrating customer service encounters of the human kind. But if not, it will probably make you feel better by laughing at your jokes.

S.D. Livingston is the author and creator of the Madeline M. Mystery Series for kids, as well as several books for older readers. Visit her website for information on her writing.