As project leader for AT&T’s Advanced Business Solutions Digital Experience team, Amy worked with IBM Watson technologies to improve customers’ chat experience. The result: AT&T’s Enterprise Virtual Agent (EVA), which uses Watson Assistant and has become an integral part of the company’s enterprise care system. EVA, which launched in February 2019, handles 45% of chats on its own, without having to escalate to live agents. In addition to reducing costs and expanding support to 24/7, EVA allows agents to focus on more complex tasks and on selling AT&T’s solutions and products. Amy received AT&T’s 2019 Visionary Award for her work championing EVA. 

Can you share some key learnings about AI adoption and success?
We began our journey with AI thinking our business customers would be happy with “show me” support, allowing them to navigate through the self-service options of our online sales and support sites. We quickly learned that their minimum expectations of AI are to “tell me” the answers to their questions. We then learned that to actually delight our customers, AI must be capable of “do it for me” activities. 

What makes an AI project successful?
The support of your leadership and stakeholders for trying new approaches, a solid team of dedicated individuals to constantly analyze data and identify opportunities for improvement, launching frequent iterations on the experience, and data-driven decision-making. 

Why should women be more involved in the creation and use of AI?
A key benefit of women’s involvement is the passion to challenge the status quo that they bring. Women who actively pursue roles on the cutting edge of technology have a secret sauce that drives them to push boundaries and drive the change that is needed to be successful.    

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t ignore the people who tell you that you cannot do something. Hear them, understand the reasons why they think you will fail and turn those reasons into your risk-mitigation plan. Take proactive action to ensure that those failures are avoided. 

She puts Watson Assistant to work

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