In May, Accenture and IPsoft announced the creation of their Accenture Amelia Practice, designed to accelerate client adoption of artificial intelligence to improve business outcomes and create new growth opportunities for their businesses.
By using IPsoft’s Amelia cognitive agent platform, Accenture are developing go-to-market strategies, solutions and consulting service offerings around deployments of virtual agent technology for clients across several industries – indeed, it has already been placed within a leading European bank and a large US-based media services organisation.
AI Business caught up with Chetan Dube, IPsoft president and CEO, to find out the internal reception for Amelia within the enterprise, the industries that will find her most useful, as well as a bit about what the future holds for AI in the business world.
Chetan Dube, CEO IPsoft
“The response both internally and externally has been exceptional since the announcement of the Accenture Amelia practice”, Chetan explains. “Due to Accenture’s strategic relationships with senior executives in all industries, the reception from their customers has been very promising. Accenture has great depth of industry knowledge developed over many years and are keen to apply Amelia’s unique capabilities to value levers that can accelerate performance for their clients.
So which industries are being impacted by Amelia most significantly – and are there any industries that will take longer to adopt the technology?
Chetan is keeping a focus on the finance sector, which he says is already very active in its adoption: He elaborates: “New entrant Fintech organizations have attacked the market for established players and they are under pressure to innovate in order to maintain the loyalty of millennial customers whose expectations for service are higher than any previous generation. As compliance is critical, Amelia can also play a critical role in ensuring increased scale and frequency of contact is matched with an ability to follow tight governance procedures at all times as well as provide an audit trail of interactions.
There is similar interest in telecoms, healthcare and energy, fuelled by the dynamics of regulation, intense competition and customer service focus. “Whatever the external environment, internal operations too stand to be transformed as Amelia takes on roles in IT Service Desk, Procurement Processing, HR Operations and so on. It’s fair to say that each conversation with an executive sparks new ideas for how Amelia could impact their operations.”
When we asked Chetan what the near future held for IPsoft, he remained focused on Amelia:
“Amelia is at the start of her career. Over the next years, you can expect to see specialist instances of Amelia come through for specific industries and disciplines. Coupling her cognitive skills with our autonomic technology will spark even greater opportunity for driving a new paradigm in efficiency.
Looking further ahead to the enterprise as a whole, Chetan sees forward-thinking technologies continuing to disrupt the market:
Uber disrupted the taxi industry by connecting the customer directly to drivers through technology and disintermediating the intermediary administration structures. You will see this happen in IT organizations across industry as we combine cognitive, autonomic and analytic technologies to empower business users and give them direct access the technology they need, whenever they need it.
As our technology improves our ability to absorb the mundane and give humans the time to dedicate their time to far more valuable endeavours increases. Would you rather a highly intelligent medical student go on to apply their knowledge to developing cures for life threatening diseases or spend their days writing out repeat prescriptions for minor ailments? We should strive to create a lasting change in how we apply the human mind to the greater challenges we face.”