Generative AI advancements are at the forefront, and businesses in various industries take notice, from banking to insurance and even healthcare. They seek to answer how this technology can benefit their operations. Especially today, where there is a macro-pressure to increase business revenues amid having limited resources, this new wave of AI technology may provide a helping hand.
In this blog, we will walk you through what collaborative intelligence is, its benefits, and how it can help resolve real-world problems.
What is Collaborative Intelligence, and Why does it Matter?
Fostering human and AI collaboration can help humans focus more on pursuing higher-order thinking and building positive human connections. This form of collaboration is widely known as collaborative intelligence, where humans work alongside “AI agents,” enhancing each other’s strengths. This advancement helps reshape the modern workforce and assists organizations in reaping the combined benefits brought in by humans (like leadership and creativity) and AI agents (like scalability). The results gained through collaborative intelligence cannot be obtained by humans or AI agents alone. It is only possible due to the collaboration existing between the two.
For instance, customer service operations offer an excellent example of collaborative intelligence. AI agents can handle repetitive work, such as addressing frequently asked questions, and human agents can address more important issues.
Pragmatically, in the context of customer service operations, it is essential to have both resources on hand. A purely manual operation handled by human agents can be expensive to scale. On the opposite end, 100% automation will not be able to handle the complexities of customer demands.
Therefore, having both resources is beneficial. AI agents and human agents can help complement each other’s disadvantages: AI agents are scalable, whereas human agents’ touch is irreplaceable.
Although collaborative intelligence is taking the forefront, there are still debate happening on whether artificial intelligence would take over human intelligence, especially since the turn of AI into a general-purpose technology. Human intelligence comes with a vast spectrum of cognitive abilities, ranging from adaptability to moral reasoning. As humans have numerous qualities, AI can act as a tool complementing humans and not as competing with human intelligence.
In a recent panel discussion that happened at CES 2024, Fei Fei Li, director of Stanford HAI, presented her hopes on assistive agents, where humans are in the loop, over autonomous AI agents. This brings forward a collaborative approach between humans and AI agents, and Li believes that this approach is more likely to happen than fully autonomous AI agents.
Autonomous AI agents like the LLM agents can aid humans in handling tasks like changing a client’s flight booking, transferring a hospital patient’s call. Interested in learning more about autonomous agents and assistive agents? Read our blog on how LLM agents are unlocking new possibilities!
Benefits of Collaborative Intelligence
Collaborative intelligence can help attain different benefits. During a conversation WIZ.AI had with the Head of Collection from a top Indonesian financial institution, she highlighted cost-effectiveness, 100% inspection for analysis, customization, and scalability as some key benefits of human and AI collaboration. This section will take you through these benefits with other notable benefits associated with collaborative intelligence. They are as follows:
- Enhanced efficiency and performance – With AI agents, humans can complete tasks quickly and accurately while reducing the time spent on repetitive tasks. This provides employees with time to focus on other high priority tasks.
- Cost-effectiveness – Upon bringing in human-AI collaboration, organizations can reduce the cost-per-contact by 80% for customer service operations.
- 100% inspection for analysis – In a call center, all calls are recorded. This helps leaders to attain better and faster insights. Furthermore, they can identify which calls were made by the human agents and AI agents. This helps to compare effectiveness and adjust the communications accordingly.
- Improved customer experience – With collaborative intelligence, organizations can improve customer experience by predicting customer preferences and offering personalized experiences. AI agents can help analyze data patterns, and human agents can focus on understanding your customers’/ prospects’ requirements and invest more time in facilitating them.
- AI agents are customizable – Human agents are trained to become brand ambassadors. Similarly, while bringing in collaborative intelligence, AI agents can be customized to follow human agents and act like brand ambassadors who not only talk like their employees but also adhere to the company requirements.
- AI agents are scalable – With AI agents, companies can scale their customer service activities, especially during high call surge times. This will aid human agents to work efficiently with the assistance provided by AI agents.
Along with these benefits, collaborative intelligence can help identify unknown problems, solve them on time, and enhance innovation.
How can Collaborative Intelligence Solve Real-world Problems?
In a recent discussion WIZ.AI had with the Head of Collection from a top Indonesian Financial Institution in relation to how WIZ.AI helps integrate collaborative intelligence, she, firstly, highlighted the need to implement collaborative intelligence in their operations. For her, there are two main metrics that act as priority, and they are:
The rate at which the collector has established contact with their customer
The rate at which the customer has successfully paid their outstanding debt
Maintaining a high connection rate is important, as the more customers they reach, the higher the collected payment will be. At the same time, she also ensures that the payment rate is proportionately high: as they reach more customers, they should be able to communicate and collect effectively.
To do this, she handles internal and outsourced human agents who carries out various tasks in the collection process. To scale their connection rate, the company uses an AI solution to automate tasks at the top of the funnel, letting AI agents handle collection at the early stage (pre-due, in collection terms). “I…ensure that our collection efforts align seamlessly with the organizational objectives, delivering optimal results and maintaining the integrity of our operations”, she added.
This is one of the real-world examples that suggests how collaborative intelligence helps resolve real-world problems, especially in customer service. Similar to customer service, collaborative intelligence is currently becoming highly beneficial in other industries like healthcare, where AI agents can help doctors diagnose diseases by providing information on the potential issue a patient might have by reading through their medical reports, X-ray results, etc. This gives doctors more time to improve the patient’s experience and invest more in decision-making.
Although concerns such as data security, ethical considerations, workforce adaptation, and identifying the right KPIs and use cases persist, the AI-human collaboration brought in by collaborative intelligence, indeed, seems promising. With rapid transformations happening, collaborative intelligence would become one of the best ways to enhance efficiency, productivity, and scalability in organizations. These act as significant reasons why leaders should aspire for collaborative intelligence.