Whenever we receive a phone call or email, here at Controliss blinds, we are happy to provide answers to any questions you have about our our range of remote control electric window blinds. Many businesses receiving a large volume of calls now use interactive voice recognition (IVR) technology in order to help improve the service provided to their customers. However, the process of following instructions of pushing keypad buttons and speaking to the system, only to be directed to a meagre voice recording or to be put on hold until a real person is able to take the call, rarely feels effortless or satisfying on the customer's part.
Imagine talking to a machine that shows a human-like understanding of what you are saying and responds with an answer that suggests a level of knowledge and reasoning, as opposed to responding with the same answer for different questions. American technology and consulting giants, IBM, have developed an artificial intelligence computer system that is capable of responding to questions posed to it in more natural human terms, much more effectively than other IVR systems.
IBM's question answering computing system, named Watson, produces it's answers by running over one hundred simultaneous algorithms which filter through the two hundred million pages of structured and unstructured content it has access to, in just seconds.
In order to test the capabilities of Watson, it's developers arranged to have it compete on the quiz show, Jeopardy!, against the show's two greatest players. The main objective in Jeopardy!, is to respond to clues given in the form of answers, with the questions that will fit those answers. The test was a success as Watson defeated both contenders and won the first prize $1 million dollars, which IBM divided and donated to two charities.
Watson shows great potential in the future of areas that could really utilise it's abilities, such as the practise of medicine, where it may be used as a clinical decision support system to assist health professionals with the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Although, given the fact that Watson is made up of a cluster of ninety IBM Power 750 servers along with other hardware, it is unlikely that businesses will be appointing it to answer their customer phone calls any time soon.