Tuesday, November 14, 2017

AI in Telecom: Customer Service is an Early Use Case

As was the case for cloud computing, so artificial intelligence is going to appear in consumer-facing apps where the user is not always aware of its presence. Voice interfaces provide the best example.

That also seems to be the case in telecommunications as well. But AI also is expected to play a growing role in network operations as well.

The most-popular AI applications in use by a number of tier-one U.S. telcos include customer service apps such as chat bots. In those roles, AI-assisted apps automate customer service inquiries, route customers to the proper agent, and send prospects with buying intent directly to sales people, according to Tech Emergence.

Those use cases also are obvious in the area of speech and voice services for customers, allowing customers to explore or purchase media content by spoken word rather than some other method.

In the network, AI is starting to be used for predictive maintenance, allowing staffs to fix problems with telecom hardware (cell towers, power lines) before they happen.

Likewise, AI is used to support self-optimising networks (SON). It also is possible that AI will be used to create “deep neural networks” to support customer engagement tasks with those networks.

Software defined networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) also have use cases for AI, allowing customers to interact with services behind the network, for example.

At the customer service level, AT&T leverages AI to process all “online chat interactions”. predictive maintenance as a major AI initiative within the company.

Verizon has launched Exponent, a set of services offered to other global carriers. The suite of digital tools is designed to allow customers to apply their data to personalized marketing campaigns, laser-targeted advertising, and deep customer engagement.

Comcast uses AI to support its X1 voice remote interface.

The Charter Communicatins Ask Spectrum virtual assistant uses AI to help customers with troubleshooting, account information or general questions about Spectrum services. The AI-driven assistant named Angie was designed by Conversica.

DISH Network works with Amazon to support customer use of its digital video recorder, integrating voice response with Amazon’s Alexa.

None of those customer-facing apps are likely going to produce a “wow” reaction. But all are practical, every day implementations of artificial intelligence.

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