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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Danny Tomsett, CEO of UneeQ (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, May 18th 2020

This is an exciting conversation on cutting-edge Digital Human technology and its applications.

Very cool stuff!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to the company.

Danny Tomsett: I’m the CEO and Founder of a fantastic Digital Human company called UneeQ Digital Humans. Digital Humans hasn’t been a common part of our lives until 2016. Even then, it’s been an emerging technology. We’ve led the way in the global market.

The company started in 2010 not with Digital Humans but with a focus on how we create better emotional connection value through digital channels. It became very clear to us that over the last 10 years, we were getting increasingly good at taking the human out of the process.

The problem was that we were taking the human out of the process. You have all these organizations with fantastic people and human skills creating amazing brand experience and customer experience, and replacing that with self-service forms and digital experiences that have no emotional connections with their customers.

We believed that there was a huge opportunity for the future in solving that. While we started with trying to create frictionless video in call centers, we quickly discovered that by using artificial intelligence technology, we can create something more scalable and accessible as part of the digital strategy to bring the human touch and personal connection back to the digital world.

Sramana Mitra: How did you do that?

Danny Tomsett: We were able to have the opportunity to work with people with disabilities. Initially, we were thinking about using video with the Australian government and how that could potentially help people with disabilities due to a variety of reasons.

The problem that they had was, they would have up to 2-hour hold times. They had a huge resource problem and you couldn’t solve it with people. We were able to build a prototype with them. We took that to market. We had over a 90%-acceptance rating of preferred way of interacting with the government.

Sramana Mitra: Are you an Australian company?

Danny Tomsett: We were founded in New Zealand. We moved our office in 2019 to Austin, Texas.

Sramana Mitra: But you still operate primarily out of New Zealand.

Danny Tomsett: The operations and R&D is out of New Zealand. Sales and marketing is out of the US.

Sramana Mitra: What is the use case that you zeroed in on that really worked well?

Danny Tomsett: What was important were three things. The first was that it’s accessible. You could just talk. The digital human would understand you and would be able to help you immediately at any time of the day. It didn’t require strong language skills or even the ability to type on the keyboard.

This particular use case was a challenge for many citizens that needed support for disability funding. The second one was the approachability and the engagement. The government had tried multiple digital channels to help support their call centers for years and years. There was no desire from people to want to use it as a preferred channel.

By creating the digital human, we created a brand persona and we created an engagement that became higher than even the call center itself. The third one was really about the fact that it was able to continue to learn and get better and better.

We were able to create a super agent that not only can help with their immediate needs but we were also able to extend that. It was consistent, compliant, and able to gain more knowledge over time. 

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Danny Tomsett, CEO of UneeQ
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