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2 February 2021: Google has announced general availability of Dialogflow CX, it’s virtual agent (chatbot) technology for call centres. The service is a platform to create and deploy virtual agents for public-facing customer services. Google has embraced low-code concepts to allow for rapid development of such virtual agents with a visual builder. The platform also allows for switching between conversational ‘contexts’, which allows for greater flexibility in how the agents can converse with people that have multiple, simultaneous customer service issues.
Why it’s Important
While virtual agents are relatively easy to develop over time, two key challenges have remained:
Google’s Dialogflow CX has adopted aspects of low-code development to address the first challenge. The platform offers a visual builder and the way conversations are developed (contexts) can be described as ‘program by example’. While there are third-party virtual agent platforms that further simplify the development of agent workflows (many of which build on top of Dialogflow), the Google approach is proving sufficient for non-technical specialists to get heavily involved in the development and fine-tuning of virtual agents
If not already in place, organisations should establish a group of technical and non-technical staff to explore where and how virtual agents can be used. Do not attempt a big bang approach: keep expectations small, be experimental and iterative. Leverage low-code ‘chatbot builder’ tools to simplify the creation of virtual agent workflows, while leveraging available hyperscale cloud platforms for the back end of the agents.
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Implementing MLOps has several benefits, from easing collaboration among project team members to reducing bias in the resulting artificial intelligence (AI) models.
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The mass move to working from home has forced a wave of change to practices: people are finally shifting from a sequential approach to work to a genuinely collaborative approach. And this work approach will remain even as staff return to the office.
The emerging wave through 2020 and beyond is process change: continual and iterative digitisation of process. Practice and process changes will be two positive legacies of the pandemic.
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