Interview with Sascha Wolter, Cognigy’s Technology Evangelist and former Senior Alexa Technology Evangelist, presenter at VOICE Summit 2019

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Join VOICE Summit 2019, July 25th in Newark New Jersey, where the leading minds in Voice will come together. Sascha Wolter will present on demystifying conversational AI, so Cognigy sat down with him for a brief chat.

Sascha, what does Conversational AI even mean?

Great question, people often ask for a non-technical definition of “Conversational AI”, and while it is a broad question, I would have to say that Conversational AI is about reducing the gulf between humans and machines through bi-directional dialogue. The most innate way to achieve this is through language, either via Voice – hence the VOICE Summit – or in written form. Once communication with machines is done in a collaborative manner, we call this “Conversational AI” where “AI” means both “Artificial” and “Augmented” intelligence, as we want to augment human capabilities in a smart way.

Interesting. So how would you approach a “conversational experience”?

Throughout the user or customer journey, it is easy to identify conversational micro moments which are perfect for fulfilling specific tasks through dialogue. Typical moments are “I-want-to-know-moments”, “I-want-to-go-moments”, and “I-want-to-do-moments”. Some of those tasks need to support an open conversation, and others are more process-oriented and need to guide the user. A great example is reporting an incident to your insurance company, with specific details we need to capture, but process automation to hide the complexity of all the underlying systems needed to support it. To achieve a great user experience, it’s recommended to combine a guided conversation with general FAQs (frequently asked questions) and small talk at any time – much like a natural chat.

Is it strange if I ask where conversations live? Like a chatbot on a page, or Alexa perhaps?

It’s not a strange question. Conversations can be achieved through various channels in an Omnichannel-manner. The above describes the need to have a strategy for communication in and across your customers’ channels of choice.  For example, the use of voice devices is seeing rapid growth and meets the user in their moment of interaction.

Any advice you might give someone who can’t attend your speaking session?

I would say to simply “be” where your target audience is. If you subscribe to the effortless experience mentality, you know the importance of addressing a user’s complete need in the channel of choice, and the ROI (return of investment) which this can deliver. Conversational AI is a wonderful vehicle. It has the power to accomplish tasks easier, faster and more natural than a traditional app if the conversation design is done properly.

That is one of the many reasons I like working with a Conversational AI Platform like Cognigy.AI, which allows me to configure and design a conversation once and use it across all relevant touch points, channels, and modalities of choice. I appreciate the interview, and hope you won’t hesitate to read more on our company`s blog https://hello.cognigy.com/news and follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/saschawolter.

 

SOURCE Cognigy