Google Cloud has updated its AI solution for contact centers Contact Center AI with the Rapid Response Virtual Agent program. This allows Contact Center AI to quickly roll out virtual agents, to handle online chat or telephone calls.

The newly released update of the cloud-based virtual contact center solution based on AI comes at a time when contact centers are under severe pressure due to the current Corona (COVID19) crisis. Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI has been publicly available since the end of last year. A major update was released in February with the addition of Dialogflow Mega Agent AI. This is an AI solution that can provide ten times as many answers than the standard version of the public cloud provider’s contact center solution.

Special templates

For example, the update now released makes it possible to add special COVID19 templates, such as Pathfinder, to the virtual contact center application to improve conversations in this area. According to Google Cloud, these templates, developed by sister company Verily, have the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO). The regulations of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) are also standardly available. This enables the AI to provide the best answers to callers’ questions.

Other initiatives

Not only Google Cloud is currently busy empowering contact center solutions with AI to help manage the COVID19 crisis. Other parties, large and small, are also working on this. Specifically, AI is intended for the deployment of self-research to relieve medical staff and to combat loneliness because of the social distancing measures.

Recently, the startup Node was able to raise more financial funding for the development of customer service software based on AI, to support companies and customers in working from home.

Conversational AI developments at Microsoft

Microsoft is also expanding conversational AI into applications in view of the current crisis. By now, the tech giant’s Healthcare bot service is said to have already deployed more than 1,200 self-research bots. These bots have so far had conversations with no less than 18 million people worldwide. The well-known virtual assistants Google Assistant and Alexa have also been trained to answer questions about COVID-19.

The tech giant from Redmond is also involved in setting up CORD19, an open data set containing more than 30,000 scientific articles about COVID19 and related viruses. This dataset can be used by doctors or by AI researchers who want to use natural language processing (NLP) summaries of these articles in order to get to a vaccine faster.