Artificial Intelligence Provides Prompts to Help Humans Show More Empathy

Artificial intelligence is contributing to a growing amount of industries, and organizations such as Humana Pharmacy are even using it in its call centers to provide real-time conversational guidance for its human employees. By providing live alerts which tell the employee if they’re being too silent, speaking too quickly, or if they should focus on being more empathetic, they can learn to listen better, speak more confidently and satisfy the specific needs of each customer. The technology was used within population health and management programs at premier health and insurance companies.

Furthermore, Cogito is being used for approximately 1700 employees at Humana Pharmacy, but why is it so useful? Joshua Feast, CEO and co-founder of Cogito explains that the algorithm is used to help the agent be more consistent with their approach to customers throughout the day. This is because the 30 to 40 calls that an employee takes on a single day can cause “compassion fatigue”, and generally, on a daily basis, agents may feel disengaged and lose motivations. As you may know, call centers have a reputation for being difficult places to work. As a consequence, stress and frustrations which occur outside of work can come into play unknowingly when conversing with someone over the phone. As such, improving the quality of interactions by showing empathy is essential, especially for a customer of life insurance companies who are generally in a very difficult moment of their lives. So, whereas a grouchy agent is very unlikely to provide a good service, a pleasant one can create a positive relationship with each customer, so that both parties feel more engaged and more satisfied.

Meeting a customer’s expectations by providing a good service is enhanced by Cogito. Not only does this improve satisfaction but creates loyalty for any call center which functions effectively.

Meeting a customer’s expectations by providing a good service is enhanced by Cogito. Not only does this improve satisfaction but creates loyalty for any call center which functions effectively.

The story of Cogito begins in 1999, where researchers at the MIT Human Dynamics Lab proved that social signals including pitch, tone, and rhythm all have a real, significant meaning in human communication, and that, moreover, machines have the ability to detect and interpret psychological states from these. Through funding, Cogito was able to develop artificial intelligence that, when deployed, examined thousands of interactions and produced enormous amounts of data to further improve its effectiveness.

However, a question which comes up is whether this AI is, one day, going to replace employees in such call centers. However, Feast believes that Cogito is more of an assistance to the agents rather than a complete replacement.

Humans will always want to talk to other humans. The reason is that only other humans really understand us.
— Joshua Feast
Pavan Ayyar