Agent or AI: Whom Would You Bet On?


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Automation has started to take over our business industries, probably not in the ‘destroying everything and zero empathy’ way, but in the ‘let’s make a progressive business way. We can see artificial intelligence wonders around us. Businesses are either hiring people to handle their AI department or are in consideration for the same.

Long back in 2017, Gartner said that 55% of established companies have already made investments in AI or are planning to do so by 2020. ‘We’re moving towards the end of 2019, the fact that all the big tech companies have already invested in AI proves that Gartner predicted right.

“We are moving towards a world of automation and artificial intelligence.”

Talking about the progress of AI, we can figure out how AI is living up to be the next big thing in technology. However, AI replacing humans is still a heated argument. There are mainly two schools of thought, one that believes in the power of AI as good and is full of forward-thinkers. These are the ones who think AI will enhance human conversations and not take over them entirely. Then there is the opposite of this school of thought, the ones that believe of AI as an evil power, one that will take over humans and can ultimately (maybe) be the end of the world.

Many people also don’t understand what AI is; their understanding of AI is limited to those movies that showed evil robots trying to win over the world. (The humans won, but I don’t think Tony stark, who, actually uses AI-the good kind, will come and save us now that’s he’s rested) The impression given by robots to the masses is that of a villain or an anti-hero.

These people or these masses, though, are using AI in their everyday life; passive, if not active.

Passive and Active AI

Passive AI, for the most part, is AI that is being used for a long time now, with iPhone and Android auto-fills, Amazon product suggestions, and Netflix or Spotify’s recommendations. All these come under the category of passive AI.

However, if we talk about customer service in general, it would include parts of both – active and passive AI. Passive AI will help a customer find relevant and similar products, fill forms, and recommend products/services to them.

Alternatively, active AI will help customers by actually solving their problems and listening to their issues. Try asking Siri or Alexa a few questions if you doubt that. However, even Siri or Alexa can tell you ‘it’s beyond their capabilities at the moment’ to answer your question. Therefore, AI is not capable of human-like empathy or human-like thinking or understanding capacity right now. Who knows, though, maybe ten years down the line, robots are the ones convincing us and telling us how it’s all going to work out, (maybe.)

“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.” – Eliezer Yudkowsky

Do We Really Need a Human vs. AI Fight?

The question here is not if Ai is competent enough, in any case. The concern here is humans or AI, which one do you think is better?

Are we asking the right question, though? The primary aim of technology or any advancement has always been to simplify and ease up human life. After all, it’s humans who are creating technology and not vice versa. So probably the question here should be whether AI will prove to be beneficial in the big picture?

Agent vs human solving customer issues
Source: Shutterstock

Customer Service- AI and Humans Joining Forces

When we talk about customer service and angry customers calling in to vent, there can only be a limited number of patterns and repetitions that can be taught to a virtual assistant. However, then, aren’t there infinite problems or questions that a human might ask?

So, while the virtual assistants or AI can solve the general and straight forward patterns that most humans ask or (honestly) the patterns that don’t really require analytical thinking or problem-solving capabilities. Humans are free to work on complicated things.

So, AI and humans joining forces will help virtual assistants answer general patterns. Alternatively, this use of AI will leave human agents free to solve more complex issues or handle angry and frustrated customers. Now, these complex issues can be issues that the virtual machine is hearing for the first time or issues that are too complex to be resolved without human interference; thus, making it incapable and unfit to solve these issues.

What the above paragraphs are inferring is that humans and AI both can work in harmony and resolve customer issues. This harmony is a win-win for the business and the customers. The business saves its agents from the tedious task of answering the same questions again and again, and the customers are a lot more satisfied with the resolutions.

Niharika Gupta
Niharika Gupta is a technical writer at CallCenterHosting. She loves music and reading and has always been fascinated with technology. Writing about technology and other related topics give her the utmost happiness. She believes words have the power to change the world and is working on turning her ideas into words every day.


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