Boost.ai: empowering financial brands to scale CS with AI
Many organisations claim to embrace digital transformation, but the hard truth is that the process of digitising legacy systems into the 21st century can often result in a handful of failed projects and missed opportunities.
In our latest issue of , we sat down with Ben Maxim, Assistant Vice President of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) to discuss how the company has avoided traditional innovation pitfalls by creating strategic fintech partnerships via its newly-founded innovation centre.
"The Lab at MSUFCU is a combination of years of organic innovation formalized into a place to experiment with different fintechs and innovative companies," says Maxim. The initiative gives Maxim and his team the flexibility to work on small-scale pilots with varying goals including, to "improve efficiencies through automation or custom AI solutions from the front line all the way to the back office."
One such solution is Boost.ai, a Norwegian scale-up specialising in conversational AI-powered chatbots.
Boost.ai helps organizations like MSUFCU scale customer support and operational efficiency
Founded in 2016, Boost.ai has risen to become a market leader in customer service automation, empowering financial brands like Nordea, Santander and MSUFCU to scale their digital customer service offerings with artificial intelligence.
"When my co-founders and I started the company, we identified a need for a customer service automation platform that was quick to implement, easy to manage and could scale to meet the demands of large enterprises and their customers," says , Chief Commercial Officer at Boost.ai.
It was these same three criteria that drew MSUFCU to begin work on a pilot utilising boost.ai's technology. Maxim's team developed a chatbot that could answer questions on the credit union's most popular knowledge base topics, designed to help increase the operational efficiency of its existing support staff.
“With the virtual assistant, you get more consistent answers across the board,” says Maxim. “We did a pilot with Boost.ai and we asked individuals from our team with no experience to become certified Boost.ai trainers. We were able to build out the content and trained the model in 10 days.”
User satisfaction reached close to 100% by week four of the pilot, with MSUFCU determining that the chatbot could automate approximately 2,000 employee-to-employee interactions per month.
The Boost.ai platform delivers a unique approach in a crowded market:
- Self-learning AI - build and deploy AI-powered chatbots in just 10 days by repurposing data from existing sources like websites and chatlogs
- No-code conversation building - empower customer service staff to design engaging interactions with user-friendly software - no data scientists needed
- Unlimited scalability - answer questions and automate actions on thousands of topics while maintaining accuracy levels of over 90%
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.