7.ai launches ‘emotional intelligence’ for its virtual agent
In text-based conversations, its AIVA agent can now tell when a customer is unhappy, so it can offer some consolation and toss to a human agent.
What’s the next step for virtual agents?
Customer engagement platform 7.ai thinks it’s recognizing when the customer is angry, so it can offer a few words of consolation — and then pass the conversation on to a human agent.
The company is announcing today that its AIVA virtual agent, released in the spring of 2017, now has “emotional intelligence.” While the San Jose, California-based firm says this is the first virtual agent to have such a sensibility, there are other agents that understand intent, such as ones built on the PullString platform.
What AIVA can do, Senior Director of Product Marketing Angela Sanfilippo told me, is recognize when the consumer is getting angry, frustrated or dissatisfied during the conversation.
That detection, she said, is based on the type of language used, such as “I’m so frustrated,” but it could also include sarcasm, like “Are you insane?”
When AIVA recognizes that the customer is not pleased, she apologizes or otherwise issues some verbal consolation, and then hands the conversation to a human agent. AIVA does not yet have the ability to respond to a consumer’s happy state with some happiness-boosting comments.
AIVA comes in voice-based versions for Google Home or Amazon Echo devices and for IVR (interactive voice response, on phones), as well as text-based interaction for websites, mobile apps, the Facebook Messenger app and Apple’s Business Chat. The new emotional intelligence is only currently available in the text-based conversations, but a voice-based version is coming.