Customer service: Call Center Automation (CCA), Chatbots on Web sites (BOT), Mobile apps (MBL)
Enterprise applications: Human Resources
System: Cloud-based (CLD), On-Premises (PRM)
Core technologies: Speech recognition (SR), Speech Synthesis (TTS)
- “Watson helps you predict and shape future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize your employees’ time”
- Watson Assistant: Chatbot or voice: “Build conversational interfaces into any application, device, or channel.” Includes agent escalation. “…blend texting and voice simultaneously for instant information exchange.” “Watson Assistant can be deployed in any cloud or on-premises environment.”
- Watson Marketing Insights: “Surface predictive customer insights and pinpoint target audiences to drive better interactions.”
- Watson Discovery: Analyze data with a cloud engine.
- Watson Speech to Text: IBM speech recognition is available as a cloud solution that “uses deep-learning AI algorithms to apply knowledge about grammar, language structure, and audio/voice signal composition to create customizable speech recognition for optimal text transcription.”
- Watson Text to Speech: As an independent service, IBM TTS converts text into natural-sounding audio in a variety of languages and voices fast enough to maintain a conversation. IBM also offers to create custom voices from as little as an hour of recordings.
- Watson Machine Learning: Analyzes large data sets and models their predictions.
IBM has a long history of research into areas such as speech recognition, and IBM Research has invested heavily into the core technologies supporting bots and assistants. Watson is IBM’s brand for its suite of AI services, applications, and tools. The Watson Assistant, as the name implies, is IBM’s platform for building and delivering a digital assistant. A March 2020 study by Forrester (commissioned by IBM) illustrates applications and possible results. Forrester interviewed several IBM customers with years of experience using Watson Assistant. A composite model of the organizations found typical cost savings of $5.50 per contained conversation with Watson Assistant. Over three years with a 25% containment rate, the cost savings would thus be more than $13.0 million. The study found that employee self-service drove 40% containment and a reduction of 40 HR and IT help desk agents. Chatbot-augmented agents reduced handle time by 10%. Correctly routed conversations saved $7.75 per correctly routed call. One organization in the study used Watson Assistant to augment its sales team. The IBM Watson web site provides details of the other options listed in the summary.