/// Customer Service Is Next Job for IBM’s Watson

May 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital

Remember Watson? The supercomputer that in an elaborate but interesting publicity stunt beat humanity at the game show “Jeopardy” a few years back, and then for a follow-up went on to become a big shot doctor (sort of), and more recently has started to specialize in cancer research now has yet another new job. This one doesn’t sound at first quite as interesting, but when you think about it from the point of view of complex computing tasks, it’s pretty cool. When you think about all the ways that companies have to try to engage with and then make their customers happy and the ways they can do that more effectively, you can probably imagine how a deeply analytical computer might be useful. IBM calls it the Watson Engagement Advisor and its an offshoot its Smarter Commerce initiative . Consider that Watson is smart enough to understand the natural ebb and flow of human language and is designed to answer questions in much the same way that humans do, and then quickly sort through a set of known information to determine the best answer, you realize it’s a fit for customer service. In that way, Watson can learn over time, and like a good bartender with a lot of regulars, keep track of the unique likes and dislikes of customers and get better at it over time. And that’s important as consumers come to expect to be able to interact with companies pretty much wherever they are and on whatever device they happen to be using at the time: Whether it’s a smart phone, tablet, PC or whatever, they will expect — already are expecting — consistent experiences. Consumers, especially the younger ones will expect, companies to shift with the marketplace as tastes change and evolve. Watson can be the voice that customers hear when they reach out to the company asking questions.

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Customer Service Is Next Job for IBM’s Watson

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