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Blog

Come on our journey through conversational AI

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While many prefer to make bookings online, 50% of diners are still reserving tables over the phone. But answering every single phone call is a problem that the restaurant industry has been facing since, well… forever. Restaurant staff simply don’t have the bandwidth to answer the phone consistently alongside their other duties. It’s not uncommon […]

There’s a common perception that creating an AI agent can be a simple process of end-to-end learning, where labelled data is fed to a model, and spat out neatly as a conversational agent. In conversational AI, end-to-end learning typically involves feeding a large amount of labelled conversations into a neural network model so that it […]

It’s no surprise that the restaurant industry is one of the UK’s most significant employers, with around 988,000 people working in the area. But staff turnover is high. According to the YouGov report, Retaining Britain’s Hospitality Workers, the sector has a retention rate of just 70%. For every 100 people hired, 70 will have quit […]

Two of the main barriers holding companies back from embracing conversational AI are cost and previous bad experiences. More often than not, these two barriers are linked. Conversational AI companies have previously over-promised and under-delivered, thanks to complex technological approaches that are costly and unsustainable. In this post, we’ll explain how most conversational AI companies […]

We’re pleased to announce that PolyAI was awarded Disruptive Technology of the Year at the CCW Europe Excellence Awards. The award was judged by Customer Service, CX & AI Engagement Strategist, Martin Hill-Wilson and Director of International Customer Experience at SAP Concur, Claudia Belardo. We were presented with the award at Customer Contact Week, Europe […]

One of the fundamental building blocks of conversational AI is understanding natural language. AI agents need to understand what a user has just said in order to react accordingly. In this post I’ll give an intuitive explanation about how we solve this problem using the PolyAI Encoder model. Let’s start by looking at how humans […]

We’ve recently been working on a voice assistant that uses conversational AI to manage bookings and appointments. In this post, we’re going to look at the nuances involved in virtual agents to manage bookings and appointments, and share how we’ve been able to craft a reliable solution, soon to be rolled out over restaurants across […]

Buying physical products from a distance comes with risks. Customers want to know everything from how the product is made or sourced, to how it’s going to be delivered, to how they can send it back if it doesn’t meet their expectations. And while your company has processes in place to manage all aspects of […]

When considering automation within your customer service department, it is fundamental to understand customers’ end goals – the outcomes your customers expect when interacting with your business. Most AI agents use a process called intent detection to understand what the customer wants to achieve. While the technicalities of intent are best left to machine learning […]

A whole lot of what’s being billed as ‘conversational AI’ today is not so much about artificial intelligence as it is about logic, meaning scalable AI agents are few and far between. Take the following example of a customer booking a table at a restaurant. Simple, right? Chatbot asks question, customer gives answer. It’s like […]

Shep Hyken is the bestselling author of seven books about customer service. He’s worked with some of the most recognised brands in the world – including Disney, AmEx and Lexus – and many smaller companies, to advise on creating unbeatable customer experiences. We caught up with Shep Hyken to discuss the future of customer service […]

We’ve recently spoken with several big name insurance companies about how they can begin to implement AI in their customer service departments. In this post, we’re going to share some of the use-cases we’ve been thinking about, and how insurance companies might go about implementing them. Identification and Verification Existing customers will always be required […]

We are happy to announce that PolyAI was named ‘Company of the Year 2019’ by the Cambridge Computer Lab Ring, the graduate association of the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge. Previous Company of the Year recipients include Deepmind Technologies, Improbable, SwiftKey, and Raspberry Pi. Founded in 2002, the Cambridge Ring has […]

Intent detection is the task of classifying a user’s intent. For example, in the hospitality industry, intent categories might be ‘make a reservation’, ‘cancel reservation’, ‘update reservation’ etc. While this is a key part for any conversational AI platform, it is a somewhat under-resourced area of research. Publicly available intent datasets are usually very small […]

We’ve recently been working with large contact centers to explore the best potential opportunities for automation for their clients. We focused on a large UK retailer who employ contact centers to handle calls about deliveries, refunds, existing order enquiries, and placing new orders. We ruled out automating the process of placing new orders. We generally […]

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