Observe.ai to Redevelop Contact Centers with Talking Figures Driven by AI
It happens to almost all of us sometime during our week. We call a business and get an AI voice. And frankly, it’s mostly annoying. However, a lot of investors including Zoom think it would be a great idea to have AI be able to address your concerns with a digital image that can interact with you in real-time.
An article on techcruch.com was written by Ingrid Lunden, says several bankers joined with Zoom to bring in a Series C investment for Observe.ai.
Observe.ai — which provides natural language tools to track voice and text conversations, provide coaching for subsequent engagements, and use the data for compliance and other reporting requirements — has raised $125 million, funding that it will be used to continue building out its technology and to move into more markets.
“Its aim, said Swapnil Jain, the CEO of Observe.ai, is to target the ‘dreadful experiences’ that tend to be the norm when it comes to contact center engagements.”
Using AI as the first contact with a company is often a clunky approach. However, the technology is now available to make the first contact you make will be with a video image that can interact with you in real-time.
That’s where Zoom and the other unnamed investors come in.
Zoom launched a new contact center solution in February 2022, although its attempt to acquire Five9, a big player in the space, for nearly $15 billion, fell through after the latter company’s shareholders rejected the offer. But the idea was planted to provide a visual contact agent to answer questions or give technical help to a customer.
This AI startup has been around a few years.
Observe.ai was incubated at Y Combinator (part of its Winter 2018 cohort) and has been around since 2017, and it believes it has been one of the leaders in this movement, not least in part because of team members like Jithendra Vepa, its chief machine learning scientist, who previously led the team at Samsung working on its AI assistant Bixby. “We are focused on AI accuracy,” said Jain, who co-founded the startup with Akash Singh (CTO) and Sharath Keshava (CRO).
“Observe.AI has a transformative vision to deliver actionable and trustworthy AI that empowers digital-first businesses to create exceptional customer experiences,” said Priya Saiprasad, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “The company has built an intelligent, flexible platform with endless use cases, from healthcare companies seeking to enhance patient experience through to financial institutions aiming to boost revenue. We are thrilled to partner with Swapnil and the team to help them accelerate a paradigm shift within the contact center industry.”
Observe.ai could bring into that mix a sweetener for would-be customers, in the form of intelligence that can be applied to voice-only interactions and those taking place over chat. But sounds like it might be moving into measuring sentiment and conversations over Zoom’s most famous medium, too:
“This will be a first for us, working with video analytics,” Jain said, although it’s too early to say what value we will get from analyzing all that.”
Sometime in the very near future, you might be greeted by a friendly helpful AI-generated video image that can answer your questions with a smile. The technology is there. Now the people at Observe.ai have serious funding to work on the next generation of AI answering machines.
read more at techcrunch.com