Sara led the development of a virtual agent to answer questions for the medical practices and hospitals calling into Humana. The goal was not just to answer their questions, but to capture the outcomes, metrics and perceptions of these interactions—and to build a smarter system. The Watson AI Virtual Agent pilot is handling live calls with 120 practices, answering questions such as, “I need to understand if a vaccine is covered” or “I’d like to check speech therapy benefits.” 

What have you learned in your work with AI that you wish you’d know in the beginning of the project? 
To develop an AI organization that has a holistic, governed approach, all internal teams across the enterprise need to support, endorse and drive towards this organizational structure.

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What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?
The irony is that both the AI continuously learns through its experiences and so do the individuals supporting AI. I am always learning something new, even after decades of working with the technology.  My advice is to always be open to learning and never stop exploring the infinite possibilities of AI.

What do you believe is most critical to making an AI project successful in driving business results?
Understanding AI is different than any other technology in the market. It needs to have a full agile team working together to tend to the ever-evolving nature of this type of platform. This is not the type of technology that you set up and walk away. It needs monitoring, training and supervising to harness the true insights that can be brought forth. I believe to make an AI project successful is to understand the nonlinear nature of this technology and embrace the art of the possible.

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