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I keep hearing about contact center technology that uses machine learning. What is machine learning and how is it being used?

10/12/2016

Question

I keep hearing about contact center technology that uses machine learning. What is machine learning and how is it being used?

Answer

Rooted in the science of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning is a method of data analysis that uses statistical algorithms to detect patterns and predict future outcomes without explicit programming. As the name suggests, when the application ingests new data, it assimilates the information to “learn” and iteratively adapt its actions.

Below are a few ways contact center technology is benefiting from machine learning:

  • Speech and text analytics – Machine learning is a natural complement to data mining solutions, and is used to enhance indexing and search accuracy in speech and text analytics. Additionally, machine learning is used to facilitate automated discovery of trends or topics and identify correlations.
  • Voice biometrics – Many voice biometrics engines utilize machine learning to support an adaptive tuning process. An enrolled voiceprint is continually updated and refined based on the features and characteristics of incoming voice samples from the same speaker that are collected and authenticated in subsequent interactions. This is also how the voice biometrics engine can accommodate changes in vocal features over time as people age, become ill, or dental structure changes.
  • Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) – As one of the core underlying technologies used by IVAs, machine learning is leveraged to mimic the cognitive functions of humans as they learn, reason, work and react. Machine learning enhances IVA interactions by accessing knowledge bases to retrieve the most appropriate resource material to provide to prospects or customers, or to answer questions. Machine learning enables IVA applications to further refine answers to common questions as they are exposed to more data.
  • Predictive analytics – Machine learning is used in conjunction with predictive analytics in real-time guidance applications to determine the best sales offer or service solution to present to a prospect or customer. Machine learning can assist companies in identifying patterns in customer behavior to predict the next-best action to enhance the customer journey or reduce the risk of customer churn.