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  • Human-Driven-Evaluation

    Evaluating the IVA Experience, Part I: Human-Driven Evaluation

    When designing a conversational A.I. experience, striking a balance between your business goals and your customers’ expectations isn’t always an easy task. But with careful analysis, you’ll find that there’s nearly always an opportunity to provide a win-win interaction. Read more >

    | May 5, 2016
  • Tay

    Microsoft’s Tay and the Catch-22 of Rigid Boundaries

    Microsoft’s recent test of a “chatbot’s” ability to learn through conversation with the public produced results that were, to put it mildly, unexpected. As it turns out, human oversight may not be effective as a sole safeguard against manipulation: You’ve got to make sure your conversational A.I. has goals. Read more >

    | April 14, 2016
  • listen-up-thumb

    A Virtual Assistant Doesn’t Just Answer, It Listens

    You can’t afford to make assumptions about your customers – instead, listen and learn. To effectively serve your customers, an intelligent virtual assistant needs to listen and learn, too. Read more >

    | March 23, 2016
  • Do Not Pass Go: Deploying IVAs in the Calculated Enterprise

    The age of A.I. based, conversational customer service is here – and your customers are interacting with a greater number of enterprise-grade intelligent assistants every day. But before shopping for your own vendor, it pays to have clearly defined performance goals. Read more >

    | March 17, 2016
  • Scaling_Workforce_sm

    Scaling Your Workforce in the Information Age

    Siri and Cortana may be helping consumers find the best Thai restaurant more effectively, but will businesses trust the same kind of technology to help them make better decisions? Read more >

    | February 3, 2016
  • ai-strategy-thumb

    AI Strategy: Why Every Enterprise Needs One

    Domain-specific AI is being put to work for more and more of today's leading organizations. Whether it's for improving UX on a website, helping a CSR navigate internal systems or scaling human-resource related engagement, AI for enterprise is proving value and gaining momentum. Read more >

    | August 4, 2015
  • ex-machina_thumb

    A.I. in the Movies: Ex Machina

    Next IT Interactive Graphic Designer Gary Bailey recently spent a night at the movies. Here’s his take on the similarities between the A.I. showcased in “Ex Machina” and Next IT’s virtual assistants. [SPOILER ALERT] Read more >

    | May 18, 2015
  • turing-test-thumb

    Virtual Agent Personality: The Other Responsive Design

    From Alan Turing’s proposal of an “imitation game” to determine artificial intelligence to the 21st century’s proliferation of intelligent virtual assistants and chatterbots, the tactics surrounding how we design digital conversations in order to best emulate human interactions are both fascinating and ever-evolving. Read more >

    | January 29, 2015
  • what-is-speech-rec-thumb

    Speech Recognition and Language Understanding: Same or Different?

    The terms “speech recognition” and “natural-language understanding” may be unfamiliar to most people, but they’re part of a growing technology that touches more lives every day. Read more >

    | November 18, 2014
  • star-ios-09.09.14

    SGT STAR Goes Mobile, Deploys in App Store

    We’re excited to announce that SGT STAR is now available as an iOS app, providing the U.S. Army with new ways to connect with an increasingly mobile target audience of potential recruits. With the new mobile app, anyone interested in more information about the U.S. Army can easily engage with SGT STAR’s advanced virtual assistant capabilities through natural voice-inputs. Read more >

    | September 9, 2014
  • why-understanding-is-better-than-discovery

    The Alme Platform vs. Watson: Why understanding is better than discovery

    On the surface, virtual assistant technologies may seem similar. However, there is a fundamental difference between digital discovery and digital understanding. IBM’s Watson has taken great strides in mapping the relationship between questions asked and the language in digital content, but this collection of data lacks the human touch found in a system utilizing human inference. Read more >

    | August 1, 2013
  • technology-that-leaves-nobody-behind

    Technology that Leaves No One Behind

    The internet has presented us with a world of opportunity, but in the process it is increasingly difficult to find exactly what we want. Meanwhile, the generation gap grows as upcoming children ride the wave of new technologies and older generations struggle to stay afloat, overwhelmed by the continuous outpour. Communication is key to widespread success. Read more >

    | June 10, 2013
  • Search Engines vs. Natural Language Processing: what’s the difference?

    Technology has been continuously evolving away from the old command-line search tools toward less and less explicit means of human-machine interaction, and what the future holds goes well beyond tools to technology that acts on your behalf—and this is Next IT’s primary area of pursuit. Read more >

    | May 31, 2013
  • moblifying-your-website-isnt-enough

    “Moblifying” Your Website Isn’t Enough

    Do you suffer from the difficult dilemma of making your website mobile-friendly but at the risk of sacrificing important company information? Next IT creates tools that go beyond Siri’s abilities. By implementing a natural-language interface, your website can be fully-accessible to customers on their mobile devices. Simply ask. Read more >

    | May 9, 2013
  • Making Speech-Recognition Smart

    Speech recognition technology, a key advancement in mobile devices, is only one of three critical components for the best customer experience. Like the ears and mouth for communicating, speech recognition can do little without natural language understanding and context – the brain – to create true understanding. Businesses have an opportunity to deliver a natural, effective interface. Read more >

    | February 23, 2013
  • Siri doesn’t need sass, she needs accuracy

    Apple’s recent job posting has many talking. While it looks like Siri will be getting a personality-lift, it leaves us wondering if personality – making puns and cracking jokes – is enough to differentiate from competition? One should use caution and tact when taking this approach. More than anything, though, Siri should focus on accuracy. Read more >

    | January 22, 2013
  • Next IT Still Dominates the Enterprise Virtual Assistant Space

    In light of Nuance’s recent acquisition of the European virtual agent company, VirtuOz, there are four things the market can learn. First, delivering a Virtual Assistant isn’t easy. There is also a distinct difference between IVRs and IVAs as well as between speech recognition and conversation. Lastly, there’s more to successful integration than you think. Read more >

    | January 11, 2013
  • Conversation is the New User Interface

    Most people view voice recognition as the most advanced way to interact with digital devices. Pair it with a conversational interface that understands the intent of user requests, though, and a whole new world of possibilities emerges. Read more >

    | December 14, 2012
  • Usernames, Passwords and Account Lock-Outs – Oh My!

    Companies may not lose customers when they get locked out of their accounts, but they could foster a much happier – and profitable – relationship if they made it easier for locked-out customers to get back to business. Read more >

    | August 13, 2012
  • Brickmaking and Bricklaying: How to Build Solutions that Change the way Technology Interacts with the World

    A handful of companies have developed technology that enables machines to understand natural language, but very few of them have the knowledge or experience to turn that technology into a world-class virtual assistant. Read more >

    | June 19, 2012