Virtualization Technology News and Information
AI-Driven Conversation Heralds a New Era in Communication

Conversational is the next AI

Artificial Intelligence is so entrenched in our lives as to be inseparable, almost invisible. We use facial recognition to unlock our phones, talking maps to navigate the streets, smart devices to automate our homes, wearables to spur us to health and fitness, and the recommendations of intelligent apps to decide which show to watch or what book to read. And when we have a question, we simply ask a smart assistant for the answer. By talking or typing. No fuss.

But we're not done yet. Conversational AI is progressing rapidly to open up even more opportunities and experiences. Evolving from the robots being used by food delivery companies, financial institutions, and other businesses, the future belongs to human-mimicking conversational assistants serving up hyper-personalized, immersive experiences. The ones that take current advances in AI and Robotics and are able to climb up the emotional connect. Conversational AI will usher in a new era in communication and engagement.

You speak my language! 

That is good news for consumers and the businesses serving them, both of whom are frustrated by the current chatbots that spew out predefined options. But soon, they may be dealing with sophisticated chatbots - with voice and audio-visual capabilities - that understand context, sense emotional state, and respond based on insights into individual needs, preferences, and behaviours.    

Given their abilities, hyper-personalized bots will find application in pretty much every business and functional area - assisting employees to navigate company policies and processes, offering after-sales support to unhappy buyers, providing fashion ideas to inveterate shoppers, even providing healthcare support by reminding patients to take medication and monitoring their health indicators, and so on. And they will act like humans do - for example,  speak in a language and manner that puts the audience at ease, suggest solutions based on individual characteristics, and respond to emotional cues such as tone of voice or body language. They will also retrieve information way faster than any human service agent. This will result in experiences that are more contextual, more relevant, more seamless, and more enjoyable than ever before. We are already seeing some of these come to the market, as illustrated by Amazon Astro (

Look who's talking

Excited by the opportunity, many of the world's top companies are doing cutting edge work in conversational interfaces. Meta is developing a universal speech translator to help people speaking different languages to communicate with ease. The company plans to deploy this translator, based on a single AI model, in its metaverse projects, and in various applications for its wearable devices.

In May 2022, Google announced that its Assistant would be capable of processing signals indicating Nest users' proximity, head orientation, and gaze so they would be able to communicate with it more naturally, and without needing to say, "Hey Google." The company is also working on making  Assistant  more responsive by  enriching its language abilities to understand common elements in human speech, such as pauses and words like "um." NVIDIA is improving clarity of communication with its efforts to reduce noise and other undesirable effects, with the help of its NVIDIA Maxine software development kit (SDK) that works with audio, video, and AR effects. 

To stamp their personality on customer engagement, enterprises may start using various customization features to design their own avatars, reflecting their ethos or vision. As AR/VR headsets become prevalent in consumer and enterprise situations, it is only a matter of time that users will soon be enabled to create their own avatars to communicate with immersive virtual assistants, ask them questions, or instruct them to do something.

In fact, immersive technologies, such as metaverse, will work in conjunction with chatbots and intelligent conversational tools to add significant value to customer engagement and communication. These solutions will not only find application in obvious areas, such as gaming, entertainment, and social media, but also ride on developments such as Industry 4.0 and metaverse, to pervade virtually every kind of experience, be it in a manufacturing plant, automobile dealership or retailing environment.

Infosys is also betting on the conversational interface space and has several initiatives in progress. One of these is a hyper-personalized learning assistant for our employees, called Zoiee, built using the Infosys Conversational AI Suite.  An avatar-based assistant, Zoiee helps employees navigate thousands of knowledge repositories to build various skills. What's more, the assistant considers users' inputs, previous conversations, and job-related information to recommend courses and certifications that are most relevant to their learning and career advancement goals. And like a regular human instructor, Zoiee also reminds users about completing pending tasks and approaching deadlines!

AI-driven conversation is one of the next big things in customer communication and engagement. By enabling frictionless, personalized, and immersive experiences, the technology fosters deeper connections between organizations and their employees and customers both. Apart from improving service efficiency, conversational AI has the potential to unlock new opportunities for enterprises to build competitiveness and profitability.



Prasad Joshi, Senior Vice President and Head, Infosys Center for Emerging Technology Solutions (iCETS) 


Prasad leads Infosys Center for Emerging Technology Solutions (iCETS). iCETS is the a key unit within Infosys, responsible for building expertise in emerging technologies and contextualizing them to create business solutions for Infosys clients.  Prasad has been instrumental in building the strategic 'joint innovation centers' program at iCETS, and through it has setup co-creation labs with key clients.  

His portfolio focus includes AI and Cognitive Solutions, Blockchain, Design and Experience, AR-VR, and Cyber Security and Data Management. Under Prasad's leadership iCETS has created products for Conversational Interfaces, data privacy, enterprise gamification, and location based solutions among other areas. As part of global charter, he leads the creation of startup ecosystems and academia relationships. 

He has more than 30 years of experience in software technology, IT/business process outsourcing, and multicultural team management.

Published Friday, September 02, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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