How PolyAI is Redefining the Customer Service Call with “Conversational AI”

by Micheal Quinn

The PolyAI office might nicely remind you of one thousand tech startups. There’s spacious open-plan seating, desk beers are a normal occasion, and naturally, a pleasant dog joins us for our assembly. In contrast to so many tech businesses that believe they have a killer concept, best to discover it’s been done and discarded a thousand times earlier than, what the PolyAI team is aiming for should sincerely disrupt the customer service industry that so many of us engage with.

Polya’s ace card is its “conversational AI” approach to customer service – a complicated AI system that may simply recognize conversational patterns from the human side, leaving behind the stuttering decision-tree process of standard AI chat or call services. Polya’s laser-consciousness at the customer service programs of conversational synthetic intelligence technology is what’s giving the employer one of this massive leg-up over competitors.

It’s now not simply Polyana that believes inside the capacity of its product. The enterprise these days received $12m of funding from investors to assist it in understanding step one of its name centre AI platform plan.

We sat down with Stefan van der Fluit, Business Development Manager at PolyAI, Kylie Whitehead, Content Manager, and Fig, dog, to speak about what precisely PolyAI is, and what it’s striving to do. We’re later joined through founder and CEO Nikola Mrkšić, a former Cambridge graduate, who had formerly spent two years at Apple, running as a gadget-mastering researcher on Siri. Nikola flits between our verbal exchange, his telephone and his pc, all of sudden, periodically contributing his thoughts on the industry with cautious consideration.
The trouble with customer support AI

AI-pushed customer service has unfolded speedy in current years. Perhaps, too fast – suppose strained attempts at coping with an automated voice at the smartphone, or typing in anger at the dreaded chatbot.

Stefan blames poor examples of AI for colouring the public’s belief of just how fluid conversational AI can be, and what it’s able to achieve. It’s a dangerous PR hassle and one which PolyAI is eager to redress.

The problem with present conversational AI, Stefan tells us, is that it’s too reliant on trying to predict conversations, as opposed to reacting to them. It’s now not a natural way to speak, and it makes for a disappointing revel in, in particular, while queries grow to be complicated.

With systems like Siri and Alexa, human teams pour over transcripts and try to pick out in which the systems are going incorrect. Polya, but, is based extra heavily on state-of-the-art device learning.
What is PolyAI doing otherwise?

“Imagine a magnet”, says Stefan. “It hovers above a high dimensional area, plucking out the answer this is the most applicable to the query. It’s approximately getting from the question to the answer inside the fewest steps. We’ve primarily based PolyAI on a machine gaining knowledge of version that’s based on reranking, as opposed to a predictive version.”

Instead of trying to architect conversations, it aims to orchestrate conversations. “It’s only a question of looking on the equation differently,” says Stefan.

PolyAI in Numbers
Infogram

The “fundamental” version for Polya’s platform has been skilled on 1000000000 conversations at this factor. Now, the team argue that it’s geared up-made for customer support industries. “Even if businesses deliver us their very own facts points, the improvement is most effective slight, as we’re already at this kind of precise factor, that means the conversational model is enterprise agnostic” argues Stefan.

The reason for Polya’s distinct approach is that its founders come from academia, no longer a commercial enterprise. All achieved research at Cambridge Dialogue Groups, below Steve Young, a man who Stefan calls “the Stephen Hawking of conversational AI”.

The tech driving the platform is IP included, so the company isn’t involved approximately one of the tech giants overtaking them unexpectedly. If Google have been to train one thousand million conversations, it won’t imply tons without PolyAI’s back-cease tech, Stefan tells us.

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