“Conversational artificial intelligence allows businesses to focus on higher-level tasks while delegating repetitive, low-level tasks to the virtual assistant.”- Ram Menon, Co-Founder of Avaamo
In this post-pandemic era, companies are relying heavily on conversational AI to provide their customers with the best experience at the lowest possible cost. This is because conversational AI solutions are available 24×7, free of human fatigue and deliver consistent performance, and most importantly, intelligent enough to help users reach their goal in the shortest possible time with the least amount of effort.
This is especially significant for India as the profile of an average Indian consumer is young, tech-savvy and demands the best from organisations while purchasing as well as post-purchase experience.
With a similar vision, California-based Avaamo is helping enterprises bridge the critical gap between sellers and purchasers, and improve productivity/efficiency at the same time. Avaamo is addressing the real need in the Indian market, putting customers in touch with brands for quick interaction, information gathering, complaint resolution, sales support, collections, and enabling transactions. For instance, in insurance, Avaamo is helping companies assess claims 24% faster and bringing down call centre costs by 30%.
Founded in 2014 by ex-TIBCO leaders Ram Menon (CEO) and Sriram Chakravarthy (CTO), Avaamo is a deep-learning software company that specializes in intelligent conversational interfaces, enabling conversational computing in the enterprise. The company is headquartered in Los Altos, California, with a technology office in Bengaluru and another business office in Mumbai. Avaamo has an engineering office in Silicon Valley as well.
The Avaamo platform is a full-stack conversational AI platform that enables enterprises to build intelligent virtual agents for customers, employees, and suppliers. The platform automates queries through multi-turn conversations for a number of industries, including healthcare, telecom, banking, insurance, retail, supply chain, and service desk. It contains several patented technologies that enable enterprises to create advanced conversational AI applications.
The platform currently facilitates over 2 million interactions a day, in over 30 languages, across various channels including web, mobile, SMS, WhatsApp, smart speakers, Slack and Facebook. Avaamo also provides additional products such as Avaamo Answers and Avaamo Conversational IVR. Avaamo Answers helps users initiate a dialogue with documents that are buried across organisations and delivers contextually-aware answers. It performs question-answering tasks on millions of documents at scale, providing a natural and intuitive experience of getting answers from an enterprise-centric content repository in real time and answering user questions in the context of the ingested content.
Avaamo Conversational IVR is an AI-powered voice platform that incorporates patent-pending speech signal enhancement and natural language generation to deliver automated self-service for repetitive call types.
How Avaamo Is Helping Fight The Pandemic?
The founders stated that on March 25th, 2020, the company launched Project COVID, an initiative to provide a publicly accessible and interactive virtual assistant that helps people find up-to-date information about the coronavirus pandemic.
Team Avaamo worked round the clock to develop the COVID-19 Virtual Assistant, which is free for all users and is updated in real time with information from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Johns Hopkins, National Institutes for Health (NIH), and more.
How Are These Products Different Than Others In The Market?
To this question, Sriram replied that the company differentiates itself in the market by providing a full-stack platform built from the ground up by Avaamo to deliver an omnichannel customer experience over various channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Assistant, and Alexa.
He added that another key differentiator is the fact that Avaamo caters to very large enterprises, for whom data ownership, privacy, security and audit are important compliance and organisational issues.
Use Of AI And ML At Avaamo
Avaamo has developed fundamental AI technologies across a broad area of neural networks, speech synthesis and deep learning to provide enterprises with an AI platform that tightly integrates tooling, data, and enterprise connectors to ensure designers, data scientists, and developers can design and deploy complex conversational applications quickly and efficiently with over 10,000 enterprise skills at their disposal.
The company uses a wide range of AI/ML/Analytics techniques to solve a number of natural language problems. Some of the key techniques include: –
a) Artificial Intelligence: NLP that includes transformer-based language models, such as Google BERT and RoBERTa
b) Machine Learning: supervised learning and unsupervised learning techniques such as classification, automated clustering, and latent Dirichlet allocation.
How Avaamo Is Using ML, NLP & AI To Make Its Products And Services Better
To this, Ram stated that the company uses vertical machine learning to make the virtual assistant more intelligent. He said, “For instance, a group plan in healthcare and life insurance can mean totally different things. A telecom group plan is also different. So, the computer has to understand the context here, like a human being. Once you do that, you can do intensive judgement tasks. The computer needs to diagnose and ask questions accordingly.We do all this while keeping enterprise data with them as there are regulatory agencies overseeing data use.”
Core Tech Stack
Avaamo offers a SaaS platform that enables quick and seamless deployment of virtual assistants. This is possible due to the wide range of features available on the platform, which are built on the following tech stack:
On the back-end: Apache, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Elastic Search, Redis, Erlang, Phoenix, Node JS, Express
Machine Learning: Python, Pytorch
Over the next 5 years, Avaamo plans to focus on providing conversational AI solutions to enterprises and helping them achieve maximum ROI. According to the founders, the company has been receiving requests from existing customers to support them with additional conversational AI technology, as well as inquiries from potential new clients.