The importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to both the biggest cloud providers and their customers continues to rise – and Google Cloud aims to get a step up on its rivals by offering pre-packaged AI services.
At Google Next back in July, Google Cloud AI chief scientist Fei-Fei Li noted that AI was ‘no longer a niche for the tech world’ but ‘the differentiator for businesses in every industry.’ It’s not difficult to see why. Take the various companies who cite AI and machine learning capability as key when they make the switch regardless of who they shop with – from Bloomberg with Google, to Formula 1 with AWS.
Google’s pre-packaged AI offerings are based around improving the enterprise contact centre and talent acquisition respectively. The roster of partners the company is working with on the contact centre is almost a who’s who of the cloud networking space, from Cisco, to RingCentral, to Twilio, with Deloitte and KPMG among the integration partners.
A blog post from Apoorv Saxena, cloud AI product manager, and Geordy Kitchen, cloud group product manager, explains the benefits of the contact centre technology. “Instead of a phone tree, [Contact Center AI] greets callers in a natural and conversational manner,” the two write., “Whenever possible, it aims to resolve simple requests and tasks, such as billing enquiries or driving directions – and when it determines that a caller’s needs exceed its abilities to help, it seamlessly transitions the call to a live agent and switches to a supporting role.
“During the conversation, it surfaces information that can help the live agent, in real time, so agents have little need to put a caller on hold,” Saxena and Kitchen add. “It also captures important analytics, such as historical trends or whether a certain kind of contact is happening more frequently.”
Many will remember that, back in May, Google conducted a demo where its Assistant software called a real hair salon to book an appointment, with the employee at the other line purportedly unaware that it was an AI calling them. Some had suspicions around the veracity of that demo – so it may be worth exploring these further.
On an earnings call last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted the company’s continued momentum, with larger and more strategic cloud deals, was ‘a natural extension of our long time strength in computing, data centres and machine learning.’ “We have developed these over many years and they power our own services in the cloud and are now helping others,” he told analysts.
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