Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Paving the Way for Siri

Happy Throwback Thursday!

     For this weeks Throwback Thursday, I wanted to shed a little bit of  light on the Virtual Agent industry...before there was even a name for this space! When Siri was still a far off, almost crazy idea and before IBM's Watson was able to be the winner of America's favorite QuizShow Jeopardy, Virtual Agents had already been on the market. noHold has been creating Virtual Agents since 1999 and saw a great deal of publicity in 2001 with the demand for these Artificial Intelligences only increasing. Back in 2001 as well, leading analyst firms did not know what to call such an industry. People were referring to Virtual Agents as self-service solutions, interactive knowledge platforms, service bots, etc. Whatever you wanted to call them, Virtual Agents were making their way to the spot light in the eyes of large PC manufacturers, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in a short period of time on customer support. Check out the article to the left which states that in 2001, a Fortune 500 company saved $290,000 in less than 4 months during a pilot program using InstantSupport powered by noHold.

     With the advancement of technology, innovators are always finding ways to create the latest trends that can do pretty much anything you would ever want. But without Virtual Agents or Artificial Intelligence paving the way, there might never have been the creation of Siri or Watson. Being able to learn from the past is a powerful ability and is where most great ideas stem from. "The past is never where you think you left it." -Katherine Anne Porter