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Data Science Talks: Customer Support – How AI is Reshaping the Industry

By Guillermo Garcia

Published 2 May 2023

Connex recently held its first Data Science and AI meetup at the stunning Everyman Cinema in Manchester, UK.

In an event hosted in partnership with Data Idols and the Data Science Festival, four members of our Data Science and AI team educated and entertained the audience with insights into their areas of specialization: NLP, Speech Analytics, and Data Science forecasting.

During their talks, our experts discussed how the customer engagement industry can benefit from AI evolutions and shared their predictions for AI’s future direction.

The team also offered a few glimpses into how Connex has been pioneering this evolution with its cutting-edge Athena AI solutions, and how it will continue to do so with upcoming features.

Connex data scientists Dmitry Sityaev, Kris Hong, Nichola Roberts and Murtaza Hussain taking questions from the Data Science Festival audience.

“We are a very fast-moving environment. What I love about Connex is that there’s always a buzz about what we do. We get on things really quickly; we’re very agile,” said Dmitry Sityaev, Connex’s Director of AI.

The Application of AI Technology in CCaaS

Dmitry kicked off the event with an introductory talk, focused on how AI is currently used in the contact center landscape and how it fits into the Omni AI solution offered by Connex.

Our Director of AI presented the eager crowd with some of Connex’s core Athena AI modules, such as Speech Analytics, Sentiment Analysis, Entity Recognition, ASR, or TTS, and how these features help contact centers to manage interactions and monitor their quality. He also introduced upcoming Athena AI features like Engage, which will analyze interaction data and nudge agents about the best time and channel to reach out to a customer.

Enhancing Speech Analytics with Whisper: A Speech Recognition Evaluation

Following Dmitry was Data Scientist, Kris Hong, who presented his insights from our Athena AI Speech Analytics module.

Kris explained in detail how Athena AI analyzes and transcribes calls. He discussed how calls often pose a challenge for general-purpose speech analysis AI, due to unique particularities, such as their domain-specificity, heavy context-dependency, or the presence of background noise. He then demonstrated how Athena AI is best equipped to serve businesses, by handling large volumes of data more efficiently and quicker than any other alternative.

NLP Projects at Connex

After that, Nicola Roberts, Connex’s NLP expert, gave her insights on how AI language models fit into the customer engagement landscape. Nichola explored the impact of customer-facing features like AI chatbots and shared her vision of how this technology could improve the future of customer experience.

She also offered a glimpse into some of the NLP projects the Connex team is currently working on. This included Agent Coach, a feature that will guide agents in real-time during conversations and nudge them with suggestions on what to say through learned success., Details were also given on Call Summarization, which can provide a detailed overview of each call, including its matter and outcome, in a single paragraph.

An Introduction to Forecasting using Orbit

Lastly, Murtaza Hussain, our AI Workforce AI specialist, gave the audience an agile yet informative rundown on how AI can accurately improve and forecast team management.

He shared how AI can utilize real-time and historical data to predict future volumes of calls, allowing businesses to remain adaptable to new circumstances, predict busier periods, and manage team resources more efficiently.

Q&A with Connex’s Data Scientists

Following their presentations, there was a group Q&A session in which the audience benefited from the team’s insights into other related topics.

In the Q&A session, one of the topics the audience was most interested in was how Connex’s Data Science team can keep up with the latest rapid advances in AI.

“We always try to move as quickly as we can,” said Kris. “With OpenAI’s Whisper, as soon as it made headlines we were on it. And besides Whisper, we’re always keeping up to date with the current state-of-the-art tech. We have explored as many avenues as we can, and we will continue to do that.”

The audience also raised the much-discussed topic of how AI will impact employment and the job market in the future. “Obviously, there are lots of concerns about where it’s all going,” reflected Dmitry. “I think it will affect the job market, but it will affect different industries differently. It’s all about how you put the technologies to the best of their capacities. For example, ChatGPT can actually help developers write code, and businesses are finding that when they use it that way, their efficiency speeds up tenfold.”

Reflecting on the impact AI could have on the tech and software development industries, Dmitry added: “You want to strike the balance; in the case of the developers, you’re still going to need someone to proofread the code, so it’s a balance between efficiency and quality. I think the direction it’s going to go is models becoming smaller and smaller, so people can train them themselves and deploy them in their infrastructure.”

The evening concluded with an evening of food, drinks, and networking at the luxurious Everyman Manchester lounge, where attendees were able to meet fellow data scientists and speak with our experts on a more personal level.

Our Data Science team was delighted by the positive feedback shared by the night’s attendees and would like to thank everyone who attended our talks. We would also like to thank Data Idols and the Data Science Festival team for their assistance in making this event a success and spreading Connex’s vision of the future of AI and Data Science!

If you want to see the night’s talks for yourself, you can watch the playlist of our experts’ talks here.

Join the Connex team!

If you’re a data scientist looking for a new opportunity in one of the world’s fastest growing tech companies, you can view and apply for our current vacancies on our career page: https://connexone.co.za/careers-hub/

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