Why Advances in Artificial Intelligence Won’t Replace the Need for Live Agents

02 July, 2018



Much has been written lately about the use of artificial intelligence and automation in contact centers. Our VP of business development Jason Sterns penned a feature article for Nearshore Americas entitled High-Tech Demands High-Touch: Why Advances in AI Won’t Replace Live Agents outlining ways technology will impact the contact center.

Here’s an excerpt:

The fact that technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) are taking over the contact center should come as no surprise to any customer service professional. The degree to which they have taken over and their disruptive potential does warrant attention, however.

Case in point: In 2011, research firm Gartner predicted that by 2020 humans would no longer manage 85% of all customer interactions with brands. “By 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse,” the firm said. “With the rise of AI and conversational user interfaces, we are increasingly likely to interact with a bot (and not know it) than ever before.”

In the article, Jason makes the point that two schools of thought prevail regarding the use of technology:

  • That AI and automation will replace or substantially reduce the need for human agents;
  • Technology will augment the role of human agents, freeing them to handle more complex interactions.

The article’s title provides the spoiler: Technology won’t replace the need for human agents — at least not altogether. Rather, Jason asserts that emerging technologies like AI will allow traditional call centers to “free up resources, improve process and cost efficiencies, and relieve agents of the routine, repetitive tasks that contribute to attrition.”

It’s a blend of high-tech and high-touch that he says, could turn the contact center from a commodity cost center into a high-value profit center.

You will find Jason’s insights to be extremely thought-provoking, yet practical, and well-worth taking a few minutes to read, which you can do by clicking here.