research staff member, cloud informatics
IBM artificial intelligence expert Rangachari Anand is helping industries implement more efficient conversational expert systems.
Creating expert conversational systems to help call center staff locate the information they need can be a time-consuming and expensive proposition, requiring extensive customization for each individual company’s knowledge base requirements. By using expert design techniques to simplify the authoring component, businesses can easily implement such systems and quickly reap the benefits through more efficient call center interactions and happier employees. To assist call center staff in finding answers, IBM Research staff member Rangachari Anand is contributing his expertise in artificial intelligence and conversational systems.
Anand began his tenure with IBM in 1991, initially working in networking, and moving on to Java internals and e-commerce. Recently, he has been honing his skills in artificial intelligence, working to develop a Service Center Dialog Manager to help IBM Research Services (a partnership between IBM Research and Global Business Services) banking clients improve the efficiency of their call center operations. “In the area of conversational systems, my main goal for the past few years has been to find a dialog representation that could be authored by non-programmers, while retaining enough expressive power to handle a rich variety of dialogs,” says Anand.
Because the Service Center Dialog Manager’s user-friendly authoring component is designed for use by subject matter experts without an engineering background or programming skills, the system can be implemented at low cost. And because it accommodates knowledge on any subject, the Service Center Dialog Manager is adaptable to every industry, and Anand sees the technology moving beyond call center applications to instructional systems in general.
“This work has wide applicability to many areas,” says Anand. “As our work has progressed, we have become convinced that our work may have a big impact on the way in which instructional content is delivered to users. For example, our work may lead to new ways of creating user manuals for complex products.”