World’s angriest AI sent to Earth to help customer care? Right…

14 May 2015

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A New Zealand company is developing the world’s angriest artificial intelligence – on the back of years of customer complaints to four of Australia’s largest banks – to help us.

The plan is that the €350,000 project will see the AI, which by then will be able to simulate millions of variations on the ‘angry customer’ theme, greater train our embattled customer care staff.

Data scientists in Australia and New Zealand will spend the next six months inputing the years of data – some of which also comes from telecom companies – to help create the monster, before going live later this year.

Touchpoint Group, the company behind the idea, hopes the programme will basically rifle through endless ‘what if’ scenarios, generating the angriest possible reaction from the AI, leading to cursing, yelling and hanging up no doubt.

Called Radiant, the AI willl essentially do what staff can’t, which is collate all the grievances that customers feel in one compilation file and, by data entry, establish the best way to deal with each one.

I guess it’s kind of like how computers can rock at chess by essentially learning the outcomes of every move. The problem is angry customers are not as predictable as rooks…

“The end goal is to build an engine that can recommend solutions to companies – and we’re talking about the people at the frontline here – how they can improve particular issues that customers are facing,” said Frank van der Velden, chief executive of Touchpoint Group, in The Australian.

“This will be possible by enabling our AI engine to learn right across a whole range of interactions of what has and has not worked in past examples.”

It’s a wonderfully ironic situation whereby an entire industry of customer care seeks a computerised system, the very problem with the vast majority of customer care situations, to better establish why we’re getting so angry.

Personally I’m just waiting for this type of horrid AI personality to be loaded into a ‘bar robot’, which just sits by the bar, head stooped down and, at the requisite times, yells at people for having too much fun.

Automated uncomfortableness its aim, automated aggravation its game.

Called ‘Grim Jim’, it will only acquiesce to but the tiniest of jukebox choices and, come closing time, the bar man must argue with it to leave. Because realism.

Angry robot image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

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