IBM has turned its Watson's artificial intelligence system towards helpdesk, in a bid to help organisations better handle employee queries and tech support.
Watson, which is being put to use in a whole range of different scenarios, including creating highlight reels at the Masters golf tournament, can learn over time, IBM claims, basing its knowledge on its historic interactions with staff.
"Today, governments and enterprises need to provide an effective set of capabilities to their workforce, so that their employees can deliver a superior interaction and experience for their citizens and consumers," said Richard Esposito, general manager, GTS Mobility Services at IBM.
"We need a system that can understand and communicate in a natural language conversation, one that solves problems and continues to learn while engaging with employees. Our Workplace Support Services with Watson delivers this value," Esposito added.
The end result of this is a 24/7 support desk for workforces where the answers to common questions are continually refined, with Watson making suggestions for better resolutions of specific issues as it gathers more data.
For tasks that it can handle, Watson can go beyond offering an answer to the user, instead implementing the required action, like increasing a user's storage quota, or ordering new supplies. When it can't handle the query, it hands-off to a human operator instead.
If that wasn't enough of a concern to human helpdesk operators, Watson's also sensitive to language nuance too, so it ‘thinks' in the language that it's interacting in, rather than just translating, which makes for a more natural conversation with the user.
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