What is a Digital Employee?

Digital Employees are designed to deliver the best elements of human interaction – conversation, expression, emotion and understanding — to everyday user experiences through conversational AI. These systems employ state-of-the-art affective computing and sentiment analysis to  appropriately respond to a user’s emotion, mood and personality. Deep learning capabilities enable Digital Employees to continuously learn from human interactions and create even more engaging experiences.

With interpersonal and communication skills, Digital Employees enable human workers with little or no technical expertise to collaborate with technology as easily as they do with each other. Digital Employee interactions far surpass the experience delivered by back-end automation bots (RPA) that can only understand structured data or APIs as input, not unscripted requests given by users in natural language. Unlike chatbots that react solely to keyword-driven instructions and follow limited, static decision trees, Digital Employees use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to easily recognize intent and decipher unstructured dialogue. With advanced context switching and awareness, they can switch between subjects with ease without losing any inputted information, helping them resolve complex user requests faster.

If you were to ask several leading analyst firms which vendor of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) offers the most advanced solution, Amelia is regularly at the top of the list. We prefer the term “Digital Employee” to IVA and we’re proud of the technology we’ve created. One factor that we believe separates us from the greater market is our commitment to creating a hybrid workforce. In essence, we believe humans and digital employees are not in competition.

There’s a critical business reason for building solutions like Amelia that work alongside, rather than replace, humans: AI is no substitute for human ingenuity. We want to free employees from unfulfilling work so that they can tap their uniquely human qualities — empathy, critical thinking and creative problem solving. By doing so, we allow humans to take on more high-value roles within their organizations and companies.

Digital Employees Versus Chatbots

Other vendors offer scripted chatbots that replace customer-facing service agents, but what happens when a chatbot gets confused, or if a customer asks a question that requires a creative response. Would you rather have your most important clients working with a human to solve a unique problem, or a chatbot that’s only programmed to respond to frequently asked questions?

Conversely, you do not want your most important clients waiting on hold indefinitely in order to access a locked account, or to gain Wi-Fi access while visiting your corporate headquarters. In these instances, Digital Employees are the ideal solution. They’re available on-demand and ideal for repetitive high-volume issues and requests.

A Hybrid Workforce

Digital Employees can assume entire roles, such as insurance adviser or IT operations specialist, but we do not purport that these solutions should entirely replace your human insurance advisers and IT operations specialists. Instead, these solutions eliminate the unnecessary complexity between humans and enterprise systems. Whether they’re human workers or customers, Digital Employees empower all users — regardless of technical proficiency – to easily access information and services.

For example: In an instance that requires a creative solution, our Digital Employees know when to proverbially “raise their hands” to ask a human for assistance. That’s because our Digital Employees never go beyond their remit to attempt to solve problems for which they have not been trained. When a Digital Employee realizes that it’s being asked to do something outside of its purview, it requests human collaboration. A human is then able to work alongside the AI system to quickly find the ideal resolution.

Amelia’s Success as a Digital Employee

Our Digital Employees have worked in collaboration to solve customer service issues for Telefonica, and answer customer queries at SEB — some of the many instances in which our technology complements human efforts with machine speed and data recollection.

HfS Research agrees with this approach: “Vendors are developing cognitive agents designed to deal specifically with complex industry and enterprise requests at scale; the best-known example today is Amelia,” the research group writes in its report Untangling the Gordian Knot: The HFS Dummies’ Guide to Enterprise AI.

Forrester has a similar view: “[Amelia] provides conversational AI for complex use cases. Though its product could answer simple, FAQ-type questions, it’s a more natural fit for brands looking to provide conversational automation for deep business processes or multi-intent situations,” the analyst firm writes in The Forrester New Wave™ Conversational AI For Customer Service, Q2 2019.

By providing Digital Employees to work alongside humans, your company is enabling your workforce to be successful at tasks that deliver far more business value — with personalized, highly skilled customer service — versus ones that are repeatable and of lesser value, such as unlocking accounts and granting Wi-Fi access.

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