Artificial Intelligence has already become an integral part of many tasks in the workforce. Until now, it has been limited to functions like data analysis and other tasks that require purely logical thinking, but with the combination of high-level graphic design, Artificial Intelligence is now making its way to the more human side of the workforce in the form of “digital humans,” or “avatars.”
AI and Cognitive Technology company IPSoft has already implemented their version, named “Amelia,” in a number of industries. A global telecom provider hired Amelia as an IT Operations Expert, handling 82 percent of the company’s service desk requests and has had more than 80,000 conversations with employees. Roughly 70 percent of queries have been handled by Amelia on her own, which means that human employees are able to focus their attention on other high-level tasks. Amelia has been implemented in other forms as a customer service agent and human resources operative.
Avatars are not only limited to handling internal operations. Early-stage tech company Agora Brands Group aims to broaden the engagement and functionality of interactive avatars. Targeting industries such as self-service kiosks, deathcare, and celebrity recreation, Agora Brands Group plans to make their “AI interactive avatars” accessible to a wide range of consumers. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), text-to-speech technology, and smart analytics, avatars can increase businesses’ top- and bottom-lines as well as create a positive personalized and more engaging customer experience.
Beyond convenience and customer service, interactive avatars also serve a public health function. A 2018 study by Metro found that all eight touchscreen kiosks at McDonald’s restaurants that were tested found harmful bacteria on the screens. Thousands of customers touch these screens every day, greatly increasing the potential for diseases to spread. Replacing touchscreen kiosks with interactive avatar kiosks all but eliminates this certain health risk.
“Digital human” company Uneeq trained a version of “Sophie” to help users with questions regarding the COVID-19 crisis. This platform makes it easy for users to get the information they need in a way that emulates natural conversation with a Healthcare professional. Applications like this also open the door to other similar uses of avatars as engaging digital assistants with medical and mental health institutions.
It may be a few years before interactive avatars are widely implemented, but the potential for their usefulness is only limited by the motivation of businesses to use them. Whether in the workforce or in personal uses, employees and consumers can expect to see more and more avatars engaging with their everyday activities very soon.
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