At IntraSee we are super excited to announce that the latest version of Ida (IDA-20.6.1) is currently being rolled out to all our customers. As announced last week, IntraSee and Ida are now two separate entities, but it’s still business as usual for how we service our clients.

As usual, many thanks to Oracle for all their support and collaboration as we embed their excellent Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) technology into the core of Ida, via Ida’s Hybrid-Cloud compatibleGDPR compliant, and world leading meta-data driven middleware architecture.  

Our goal of automating every aspect of the conversational Enterprise & Campus would not be possible without having such an awesome partner to work with. So, with that said, here are the highlights for Ida IDA-20.6.1:

  1. Automation of monitoring and learning into one fully integrated feedback loop.
  2. Structured unsupervised learning based on defined outcomes.
  3. Improved algorithm to accommodate and resolve ambiguity.
  4. Advanced statistics to better evaluate performance and automate learning.
  5. Enhanced reporting features to support decentralized reporting from a denormalized reporting structure that can be imported into a client’s environment.
  6. Support concierge services for bots on different technology platforms (ex: Microsoft LUISIBM Watson, etc.). 
  7. Advanced multi-lingual support to accommodate different levels of language support
  8. Additions to the Skills Library (more delivered HCM & Campus skills), including COVID-19 skills for both HR and Campus.
  9. Add support for new Oracle ODA 20.x features.

Product Update Notes

The focus for this release was the automation of how Ida is rated, reported on, and improved via machine learning. With one click by a subject matter expert, an entire train of events are initiated to measure accuracy, add to NLP training (when necessary), test for regression against over 250,000 data points, and track time to resolution in the production environment. What would take a team of 6 people 5 days to accomplish is now boiled down to 5 hours a week for 2 people

Adding multiple new data points for monitoring also provides unprecedented insight into daily performance of Ida. By comparison, typical human performance of the same things that Ida handles is only monitored with roughly 5% of the data points, and at much lower levels of accuracy.

As always, we constantly make advances with utterance matchingThis is job #1 in our world. If you can’t match an utterance to the correct question/answer then it won’t matter how elegant the bot flow is. So, we added more layers to the NLP engine and also implemented sophisticated ways of reanalyzing data from the NLP engine to improve the probability of success. This demonstrably improved the matching capability in real-world environments.

As mentioned in previous product updates. You can’t focus too much on the training, testing, and measuring of digital assistant performance. Your “downloadable worker” needs to be treated like a human worker in many respects. Only instead of bi-annual performance reviews, you need to be constantly evaluating performance every day, and providing weekly statistics to your organization on its growth and maturationIda does this out of the box now, to make the daily review a point and click exercise. 

One thing that is becoming apparent to many forward-thinking organizations is that a “concierge bot” isn’t a nice to have, it’s a necessity.  Given the proliferation of bots in every organization, your workforce or campus users need one place to ask a question. You can’t expect them to figure out which bot to talk to. Because of that, and the technical challenges of having different bots on different technology platforms, Ida now has the capability of being technology-agnostic when it comes to being a concierge. Ida doesn’t just speak over 100 human languages; Ida can also speak to multiple bot platforms too. Ex: Microsoft LUISIBM Watson, etc. 

Finally, as always, we added more skills to the library of Ida. Ida can now perform literally hundreds of things out of the box, and has the capability to be quickly configured to add hundreds more. At IntraSee, we used Ida to add multiple skills (for HR and Campus) to help with the COVID-19 situation in the past two months, and we can implement them in just 1-2 weeks. 

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SaaS Technology Company Spun Out of IntraSee

SANTA MONICA, CA, June 17, 2020 — IntraSee, Inc., announces it has established Ida Artificial Intelligence, Inc. (‘Ida’), a technology company providing market-leading solutions for enabling the Conversational Enterprise and the Conversational Campus. 

IntraSee will continue to provide global implementation services in both the conversational UI and web UI markets.  Existing clients of IntraSee will see no material change in terms of how they have always worked with the company.

Ida provides SaaS-based technology services to companies, universities and colleges, and governments undertaking conversational UI, digital agent and chatbot initiatives to enable their users to more easily engage and interact with the organization through human-like, digital experiences. 

By establishing Ida, the two companies are respectively able to better serve the increasing market demand and diverse use cases for conversational UI deployments by large organizations.  

Existing and new clients will be able to take advantage of Ida’s capacity to develop and manage advanced solutions for increasingly sophisticated cognitive services, middleware, autonomics and the data analytics necessary for robust conversational UI deployments within large enterprises.  

Ida’s technologies lead the industry in their use of automation for conversational UI services, including automated configuration, testing, user feedback, remediation and learning. 

IntraSee will continue to provide the necessary professional services which support the unique demands, customization requirements, design and growth needs for such deployments of Ida.  

More can be found about Ida at https://meet-ida.ai.

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In these difficult COVID-19 times that we live in, information is constantly changing and therefore the demand by people everywhere to find out “what is the latest news about …” is skyrocketing. To the extent that help desks across the globe cannot keep up with demand.

Adding more and more people to answer the phones is not a viable option, especially when there are so many other things to do. Thankfully there is a way to juggle all these competing demands, and the solution resides with a “digital worker”. AKA chatbot.

When “help” is more important than ever, and it needs to be fast and accurate, a digital assistant (chatbot) can be a game changer.

At IntraSee we have been working with our digital assistant, IDA, to create a configurable COVID-19 chatbot that can respond to the typical questions in the higher education world that are unique to your institution (not stuff that’s already all over the internet). Note: very soon we will roll out another COVID-19 chatbot for the commercial and public sectors.

Out of the box it will be able to answer questions on multiple topics but can also be quickly taught new topics. Included topics cover:

  • Financial Assistance
  • Graduation
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Housing
  • International & Travel
  • Pay & Time
  • Refunds
  • Remote Access
  • Scholarships & Funding
  • Withdrawals
IntraSee COVID-19 Chat Dialogue

Figure 1: A COVID-19 bot, helping students, parents, faculty and staff

Students, parents, faculty, staff can all interact with the COVID-19 bot. They won’t need to login to ask questions that are not private to the user. And it is smart enough to not get confused between student related questions and faculty related questions.

It also has an advanced language processor that can quickly be taught terminology and acronyms that are unique to your institution. And will engage with the user to disambiguate any vague question such that it knows exactly what to answer. It won’t be guessing and providing the wrong answer.

Better still, it can be managed by subject matter experts with a simple UI to update/add answers as things quickly change in your world. And in case you are wondering, yes, it can also hook into your on-premise PeopleSoft system to perform transactions and answer data-related questions, as well as interact with other learning systems you may have.

So, this is not a one-trick pony, and can be extended to be your one-stop bot for all your campus needs.

And one more thing. It can be implemented in one-to-two weeks. So this is something you can do now!

All of our digital assistant solutions are implemented by starting with a pilot program. The following table summarizes the various implementation options for all of our pilots. And you can always start with our COVID-19 bot and transition over to a full campus digital assistant. Note: we will be offering heavily discounted pricing for the next two months.

IntraSee Pilot Compare

Figure 2: Summary of implementation options

And in the words of John Lennon…

Help
I need somebody
(Help!) not just anybody
(Help!) you know I need someone
Help!
– John Lennon

You don’t need help from just anybody, or any chatbot for that matter. IntraSee’s COVID-19 bot is ready to help take away the stress from your help desk. 

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April 1st, 2020 marks the beginning of a new era at IntraSee. Today we are proud to announce the opening of our new headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Situated in the “Silicon Beach” area of Santa Monica, the heart of the LA tech and startup scene that comprises over 500 different companies. This is something we’ve been planning for quite some time, and we couldn’t be happier to begin the next phase of our expansion.

And to explain why we’ve done this, here are some typical questions we have been asked. So let’s kick it off, IntraSee-style, with a Q&A.

Q: Why Los Angeles?
A:  It’s a great place to both live and work, and gives us access to many more like-minded partners, people and organizations. As an innovation hub, it’s perfect for us as a leading Enterprise AI company to be able to collaborate and engage with people working in the same field. 

Q: Will you be employing more people in Los Angeles?
A: Yes, that’s the plan, and one reason for the move. Plus, we will also be relocating some people too. As we grow, we think this is a place people will want to come to. And we believe we can attract the best and the brightest here for our future endeavors.

Q: Will anything change with regards to service levels and other logistics?
A: No, it will be exactly the same. We are firmly focused on the success of our clients, and that’s what drives us every single day.

Q: Where abouts in Silicon Beach will you be based?
A: We are moving to the Colorado Center in Santa Monica. It’s just one block away from Oracle’s Innovation Hub at the Water Garden.  

LA campus collage

Figure 1: New headquarters in Silicon Beach (Los Angeles)

Q: Any other planned offices outside the USA?
A: Yes. We already have an office in Paris, France. And we are currently looking at options in SE Asia. Demand for digital assistant solutions is taking off all over the world, and we want to be wherever you need to see us.  

At IntraSee we are super excited to announce that version DA-20.1.1 is currently being rolled out to all our customers. As usual, many thanks to Oracle for all their support and collaboration as we utilize their excellent Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) technology via our Hybrid-Cloud compatibleGDPR compliant, and world leading meta-data driven middleware solution. 

Our goal of automating every aspect of Oracle ODA design, build, test, and deployment wouldn’t be possible without having such an awesome partner to work with. So, with that said, here are the highlights for IntraSee DA-20.1.1:

  1. Integrate Oracle delivered skills into topics that include skills from other sources (ex: IntraSee, client-created, other vendor, etc.). NOTE: includes the ability for a business user to mix and match skills in a topic via the wizard admin tool.
  2. Include embedded web forms within the Microsoft Teams channel as part of a transactional conversation.
  3. Other minor UX enhancements to Microsoft Teams channel support for ODA.
  4. Secondary “fallback” checking for utterances that fail to meet the confidence threshold of ODA.
  5. Ability to conversationally navigate backwards and forwards between multiple bot flows, maintaining memory of previous answers to questions.
  6. General enhancements to provide more human-like conversational flows.
  7. Improvements to automated predictive utterance testing, and automated daily utterance analysis reports.
  8. Improved performance of all response times.
  9. Improved dashboard metrics and reporting.
  10. Additions to the Skills Library (more delivered HCM & Campus skills).
  11. Add support for new Oracle ODA 20.x features.

Product Update Notes

A key addition for this release was the seamless integration of any ODA skill built by other organizations. Primarily this was to support the really cool set of skills built by the Oracle HCM Cloud team. But it also allows for any skill built on the ODA stack to be included too. Which means clients can build their own bot flows, and not have to worry about utterance training, testing, and matching (including disambiguation). The IntraSee “super skill” will handle this automatically, which takes away the #1 reason chatbot projects fail. With this new addition, any bot flows will accurately be matched regardless of who created them.

Why is this important? Because we want to enable a box #2 solution, not box #1 (below). This is how the human brain operates. And this is how a “downloadable worker” should operate too

Chatbot Skills vs. One Digital Assistant

Figure 1: Box #2 is how an advanced “downloadable worker” is configured. Box #1 is a tower of babel.

Microsoft Teams was another focus for this release. The biggest addition was the capability of embedding advanced web forms within a conversation in MS Teams. This proved useful for things like changing address, bank deposit info and more complex manager transactions. Ex: employee promotion with a salary change. 

As always, we constantly make advances with utterance matchingThis is job #1 in our world. If you can’t match an utterance to the correct question/answer then it won’t matter how elegant the bot flow is. So, to that end, we raised confidence thresholds as a general best practice and added fallback checking to catch utterances that fell below the threshold, but which we felt had clear matches to multiple entries in the digital assistants Enterprise knowledge. We then ran the results through our disambiguation engine to ensure the user was able to correctly identify what it was they were asking

This how people talk to peopleClarification is a key aspect of any conversation. It’s not a binary activity, and a lot of grey areas exist with how people state what they want. So advanced matching and disambiguation processes are not a nice to have. It’s a necessity. 

The result was better matching of utterances. So, job #1 achieved!

Finally, we continue to make the conversational skills of the digital assistant more sophisticated, and improve on our automated testing processes and dashboard metrics. If you can’t measure something, then how do you know it’s a success? And how do you know you are getting better each week?

We feel like we can’t focus too much on the training, testing, and measuring of digital assistant performance. Your “downloadable worker” needs to be treated like a human worker in many respects. Only instead of bi-annual performance reviews, you need to be constantly evaluating performance every day, and providing weekly statistics to your organization on its growth and maturation

This is why we make this a focus on every product release

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