IBM Watson Assistant aims to expand contact center footprint with AI, automation updates | ZDNet

IBM launched an update to IBM Watson Assistant that includes an integration with communications platform-as-a-service provider IntelePeer to set up virtual agents quickly and work better with human agents.

Under the collaboration with IntelePeer, IBM added Watson Assistant to IntelePeer Atmosphere Communications PaaS to set up voice tools and a new phone number for a virtual agent in minutes. If a company already has a contact center system, IntelePeer can connect Watson Assistant and the existing phone system.

IBM also said that Watson Assistant can connect with most contact center platforms without code in as little as an hour.

With the Watson Assistant updates, IBM is looking to integrate its natural language processing technology with contact centers. IBM has a set of reference customers for Watson Assistant including the State of Rhode Island, which uses IBM’s virtual assistant to address customer issues in English and Spanish.

Other updates include:

  • Watson Assistant Search Skill, which includes short-answer retrieval based on technology from IBM Research. With this technology, the virtual assistant can return an answer in a few words from longer sentences and passages with context.
  • FAQ Extraction is generally available in the Watson Assistant Search Skill.
  • An Agent App to help customer service agents pick up with a customer where they left off with a virtual agent. IBM’s speech detection models provide real-time transcriptions of the conversation.

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