Report: Amazon is bringing Alexa to call centers

call-center-1015274_1280

Amazon Web Services is developing a commercial version of Alexa designed to manage call centers, according to a report from The Information.

The report claims the Alexa-powered platform, currently code-named “Lily,” will be able to answer some questions asked by incoming phone calls as well as via text message with the support of Lex, a chatbot building service that uses the same deep-learning technology as Alexa, and text-to-speech program Polly.

The software is claimed to be designed to be completely self-service from a caller’s perspective, although companies that deploy the platform will still need to hire actual human beings to take calls that require a more personalized response. In addition, Lily is said to integrate with Salesforce.com Inc.’s cloud software, and can generate real-time access to a customer’s call history.

Lily is apparently being readied for a release sometime in March. The news about a potential Alexa-powered product for call centers follows a report from Time Feb. 27 that claimed that Amazon has been developing a feature that would allow Alexa to distinguish between individual users based on their voices using a voice sample, or “voice print,” to verify a person’s identity.

That report claimed that its primary purpose at this stage would allow Alexa-powered Echo speakers to differentiate between a primary account holder versus a user; for example, a parent’s voice would be required to make a credit card purchase. But that ability would have natural potential in a call center environment as well in being able to potentially identify callers based on the way they speak.

Both sound like positive steps forward for the e-commerce giant on a day that a rare fault with the data storage service run by Amazon Web Services suffered widespread outages, making hundreds of websites unavailable and disrupting services used by millions of people and companies.

Image: Pixabay