Deepening our Human Resources Domain expertise

We're honored to have Steve Goldberg, a well known, top tier human resources systems and technology thought leader join our board of advisors. We're looking forward to collaborating on further skills building for Vera, our Virtual Employee for the HR function.

HR Systems and Technology Thought Leader Steve Goldberg joins Actionable Science's board of advisors

HR Systems and Technology Thought Leader Steve Goldberg joins Actionable Science's board of advisors

As CEO & Co-Founder Saurabh Kumar noted in the news release, “We’re thrilled to have Steve join us because a key area of focus for us is using AI technology to develop and provide skilled Virtual Employees who are purpose-built to join enterprise HR teams and be immediately productive for simple and complex HR support needs.  Having Steve’s guidance and insights will add to our vision and further the development of our Virtual Employees for HR roles.” 

Our lead Virtual Employee for HR duties is Vera, who is a fully digital agent providing personalized, first-level HR support to an enterprise’s employees.

Vera handles common, repetitive HR tasks such as employee onboarding, answering policy questions and various HR Helpdesk activities. Vera, along with all of the company’s Virtual Employees, handles processes end-to-end, beginning with talking to users through natural language processing, thinking about solutions via machine learning, and then acting on follow-up steps by connecting to robotic process automation.

Read more about Steve's background in the news release. Welcome, Steve, to the Actionable Science team!

Actionable Science Recognized in the AIconics Awards at The AI Summit

We're excited to share that Actionable Science has been shortlisted for Best Innovation in NLP at the AIconics Awards, the world’s only independently-judged awards celebrating Artificial Intelligence for Business, which are being announced at The AI Summit San Francisco later this week.

AI Business, the organizer of the Summit, noted about this year's awards program: "Following the significant advances made in recent AI technologies and applications in 2017, the AIconics awards was at its most competitive, with over 300 entries across the 10 awards." 

Our Virtual People Vera and Megan competed in the awards program, and we're pleased to be recognized among other AI innovators for the capabilities we're building in our virtual agents that allow them to talk, think and act. See the whole shortlist here

Vera is a virtual HR assistant who provides personalized, first-level HR support to employees helping them with simple as well as more complex tasks at a fraction of the cost to an organization.

Megan, a virtual sales consultant, helps customers and members learn about, shop and buy - mortgage loans, auto loans, checking accounts, credit cards and other financial products.

 

Exciting Advances in Conversational Speech Recognition Technology

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We’re excited to see the recent news from Microsoft that its conversational speech recognition system has reached a new accuracy level with an error rate comparable to professional human transcribers. Speech recognition technology continues to make rapid advances, which ultimately will enable additional use cases for conversational bots – and our Virtual People.

One of the key breakthroughs was that the Microsoft team was able to teach the system to use entire conversations for context to anticipate and predict upcoming words. This year’s study showed a 12 percent improvement in the system’s error rate over last year’s test results.

We're already actively working with enterprises to launch programs where users interact with our Virtual People in natural language conversations to quickly complete HR tasks, conduct conversational banking and more. With ongoing advances in the technology, there is huge potential for improving customer and employee experiences as these virtual agents take on even more complex jobs.  

Of course, we’re pleased to be a Microsoft partner and put their technologies to work for our clients!

AI Will Power Business Transformations and Require a New Skill Set

Artificial intelligence technologies are driving numerous changes for consumers and businesses -- and ultimately will have the power to radically reshape entire industries as the applications mature. We see the use of these technologies to drive business transformation inside enterprises as one of the most immediately impactful areas of work. These kinds of initiatives will create efficiencies and improve customer and employee experiences.

But, to succeed in this new environment, team members will need to have the right combination of skills in process analytics, user experience and requirements management that are very specific to AI. At the same time, leaders will need to be fluent in these areas in order to effectively guide their teams.

Actionable Science Co-Founder Manish Sharma had an opportunity to talk about this dynamic alongside Steve White, IDC program vice president of channels and alliances in a recent industry article.

Read the article here.

From Science Fiction to Reality - a Bionic Wealth Management Advisor?

Lee Majors' and Lindsay Wagner's bionic man and woman television characters may have been science fiction in the 1970s. Today, that core idea of machine empowering humans can become a reality for high performance businesses, as Actionable Science Co-Founder Manish Sharma discussed during a panel discussion with a group of wealth management thought leaders at the recent Financial Innovations & Payments Summit in Newport.

Some of the best applications of artificial intelligence technologies are those that are helping humans do what they do best while focusing machines on the tasks where they will have the most efficiency.

Moderator April Rudin of The Rudin Group with discussion panelists Peter Fishman of Citizens Bank, Manish Sharma of Actionable Science and Ed Levene of CardCharge

Moderator April Rudin of The Rudin Group with discussion panelists Peter Fishman of Citizens Bank, Manish Sharma of Actionable Science and Ed Levene of CardCharge

As the panel and the audience discussed, the wealth management field is a perfect environment for application of emerging artificial intelligence technologies -- if done in a way that helps improve human effectiveness while fixing back office inefficiencies. 

Client expectations in wealth management are high, so advisors must perform at peak levels. Advisors have to form strong human connections, be proactive, and have the best analysis and creative solutions to meet clients' needs. Their work has to be based on the most current data, a robust knowledge of a myriad of products, and an up-to-the-minute 360 degree view of the clients' financials.

Not easy, right? This high caliber of performance absolutely can be achieved when humans and machines work together - each focusing on what they do best.

Along with our clients and partners, we're already implementing applications where virtual people (bots) take care of routine information gathering from core banking systems and basic analysis for clients to free up humans for more value added work -- as well as Robotic Process Automation projects connecting disparate systems for better consistency and use of data. So, we know the reality of a bionic wealth advisor won't be far away!

Making Conversational Engagement a Reality - A Case Study from Microsoft

As we tell everyone who will listen, Artificial Intelligence technologies are bringing the ability to transform the way customers interact with companies and how employees work.

We're excited by this vision of transformation, but we know it is critical to have a solid, practical foundation for hands on development and implementation to bring it to reality. 

We are often asked about the core technologies we use to create and evolve our Virtual People.  That's why we're glad to share this case study published by Microsoft that highlights Actionable Science as a partner at the leading edge of applying AI technologies to drive efficiencies, improve the accuracy of interactions, and create better customer and employee experiences. With Microsoft's collaboration, we got a huge head start. We've been able to build a foundation that is allowing us to rapidly expand the capabilities of our Virtual People through ever deeper and more valuable personal interactions. 

We've developed our Virtual People to be able to talk, learn and act. The case study highlights some of the proven resources we draw on to ensure their cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, and document management capability. Plus, we've created robust analytics and data visualizations for our customers to use to assess bot performance and gather user insights.

Thanks to the Microsoft team for featuring us and for their partnership!

We Hacked the Core! AI and Natural Language Technology + Core Banking Data = Better Customer Experience

Over the weekend at the iValley Innovation Center, we rolled up our sleeves during CeleritiFinTech's Hogan® Core Banking System Hackathon and showed that legacy IT systems don't have to be a roadblock to innovation and developing an overall better banking experience for customers. We were thrilled to win one of the top awards for our prototype that connected a back end core banking system to our front end Virtual Employee Megan for a value-added customer conversation.

Kudos to the CFT team for sponsoring the Hackathon as a forum for fintechs to show how new ideas and technologies can modernize the way we all interact with financial institutions by starting with a core IT system that is in place at institutions across the country. 

We often hear comments that the "complexity" and "dated" nature of legacy core banking IT systems prevent innovation and better customer experiences. This weekend we all took a significant step forward in proving that doesn't have to be the case. 

We know an era of conversational banking is possible given advances in natural language technology, machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA). Megan brought that concept to life this weekend as she connected with the core banking system data to not just answer questions -- but also provide spending analysis and proactive, actionable recommendations for the customer to save money with a better fitting product. 

We're looking forward to demonstrating a lot more about the potential of conversational banking. 

Welcome to Our New Advisors

Welcome to David Kruzner and Heather Harper who have joined our team as advisors! As we continue to grow David and Heather will help us build even better solutions for our clients by bringing their industry and functional insights in IT, Human Resources and Client Experience.

Here's an excerpt from our news release:

“The addition of David and Heather to our board of advisors adds perspective on the needs, goals and challenges of the clients our virtual people serve,” said Saurabh Kumar, Actionable Science CEO and co-founder. “Having insights from their work in key functional areas will enhance our development of chatbot powered solutions for human resources, information technology and customer experience teams using natural language, machine learning and robotic process automation.”

Kruzner is the founding partner of Kruzner, Karumuru & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in transforming businesses and optimizing business operating models through business-IT strategy design. This work has included a focus on simplification, disruption, operational excellence and digital innovation. For more than 20 years, Kruzner has developed and led clients’ executive teams in strategic planning, business process re-invention, digital and analytics innovation, and operating model design. As a result of these efforts, Kruzner has driven client teams to achieve business outcomes including revenue gains, cost reductions and operating productivity improvements within Fortune 2000 organizations. Kruzner has experience working in industries such as manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, energy, healthcare, financial services and retail.

Harper, who is the founder of Chartwell Content, has worked extensively on the creation of organizations’ brands and effective delivery of supporting employee and customer experiences. Her programs have focused on driving business results through employee engagement and customer advocacy by using content marketing, communications, leadership and innovation programs. She has worked as a senior executive in banking and wealth management as well as at leading marketing communications firms.

Read the full news release.

Credit Unions Springing Forward with AI and Chatbots

We're happy to have been invited to talk with Credit Union Executives at CUTech's Spring Forum in Miami. We'll be hosting a session to demonstrate our AI powered Virtual People and talk about chatbot solutions overall for credit unions as the execs gather to learn, share and collaborate on new technologies.

Here's an excerpt from our news release:

Actionable Sciences will show attendees how advances in natural language technology, machine learning and process automation are allowing the development of smart enterprise bots that can handle routine and repetitive tasks by engaging with customers over chat or voice, learning and then taking actions.

“The gains in these technologies are enabling the rapid evolution of AI powered solutions like our virtual people,” said Saurabh Kumar, Actionable Science CEO and co-founder. “Credit unions and other financial institutions that adopt these kinds of agents can create real value for customers and employees.”

“A large portion of customer inquiries to credit unions are routine in nature. Institutions that employ smart technology to efficiently handle these basics will then have more human capacity to deliver on complex needs and truly delight their clients,” said Manish Sharma, Actionable Science co-founder. “The institutions that are early adopters of AI powered agents have the potential to gain the most because these bots learn more over time.”

Read the full news release.

On the Road at Microsoft's Natural Computer Interactions Seminar

We are pleased to share that we are presenting our portfolio of virtual people solutions to attendees at Microsoft’s Natural Computer Interactions seminar on April 25 in San Francisco. Here's an excerpt from the news release:

During the presentation, we will demonstrate its artificial intelligence-powered virtual agents to educate attendees about the potential for enterprise bots that can handle routine and repetitive tasks by engaging with the customer over chat or voice, learning and then taking actions.

“People are conversational by nature. Now, companies can adapt routine interactions to start in ways that are more familiar and comfortable, thanks to advances in natural language technology,” said Saurabh Kumar, Actionable Science CEO and co-founder. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to demonstrate how virtual people — or bots — move from that starting point through to the end of a process and deliver improvements in customer experience, employee satisfaction and overall efficiency.”

“Virtual people have the potential to increase the quality of experiences for both customers and employees. Consumers get conversational support to ease decisions, and employees can focus on more value-added, rewarding work,” said Manish Sharma, Actionable Science co-founder. “This combination of conversational technology, machine learning and process automation has the potential to transform companies and even entire industries in the near future.”

Read the full news release.