Martin Nykodém graduated from the Czech Technical University in Prague and has years of experience with call centers and related processes. That has inspired him to develop a virtual assistant that will offer such high-quality services that it will soon be able to replace a live operator in some cases. This is CCflow. A startup with the motto “Can you hear it? Industry is shaking”.
CCflow is working on several products at once but the most interesting at the moment is domain-specific speech recognition. Have you ever dictated numbers to a virtual operator and it didn’t understand you? Your car registration number, your compulsory liability number, or your contract number? We talked about that with Martin, the founder and CTO of a startup that is currently being incubated in the Technology Incubation program of the CzechInvest agency, too.
1) CCflow is an AI startup that is solving our future. What exactly do you do?
We apply the latest research in AI to improve voicebot technology. At the moment, we’re focusing on two main difficulties of voicebots. The first is accurate speech recognition. A standard voicebot does not achieve qualities where it would always be considered an accurate transcript, and in the case of voicebots, precise information is often needed to solve a case (names, batch numbers, accounts, state registration plate, etc.). Our solution provides specialized “state of the art” speech recognition that interprets the information flawlessly.
The second serious problem is the limitation of the voicebot to answer more specific questions. The possible dialogue scenarios that the voicebot can handle are designed manually. We propose a technology that draws possible scenarios from historical interactions between the client and the live operator based on our technology, also considering the historical context of the dialogue and the customer information in the information systems. This extensive knowledge base is able to automatically and qualitatively service most customer requests without the need to switch to an operator, which ultimately saves our client’s costs and enables fast and seamless end-customer handling.
2) You improve the virtual assistant through archival records, learning from historical conversations. Can you teach him “empathy”, for example?
Currently, we’ve been focusing on optimizing messages for phone calls versus chat conversations. Chat can be more sharing, but calls are more dynamic. However, for the “same” case of check-in due to automatic extraction, there are many ways to respond depending on the historical context of the dialogue. Thus, it can be said that the client who expresses a higher need for empathy will be provided with a tailor-made service to make him feel as comfortable as possible when interacting with the virtual assistant. We don’t have the data to quantify this at this time, but we certainly plan to develop metrics to evaluate how our current solution performs in this area, and we will continue to optimize the model with this factor in mind.
3) What is the biggest challenge and the most important thing for you now?
It is always hard to find quality people for any startup, that hasn’t passed us by. Shortly, scaling our team will be a priority for us. It is crucial for our growth that they are versatile and not afraid to learn new things because the AI field is very dynamic, so you need to be flexible and have drive.
4) How will you ensure user security and privacy?
The safety of our users is our priority, thanks to the development of our technologies within the EU, our clients’ data is processed in the region on our secure servers subject to EU standards and, of course, GDPR. It should be added that for our company, the goal is not to collect user information but to provide tailor-made technology so that our client´s end customers have the best possible customer experience.
5) One last question, a bit personal, who is your biggest support when you feel down? How do you maintain your work-life balance?
My support is definitely my family, who remind me that all the hard work has a purpose when sometimes I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I regularly give myself the space to self-reflect and adjust my priorities accordingly in order to be as happy as possible in my professional and personal life, but there is still something to work on.
Source: CC flow.ai