Contact Center AI is built around its Dialogflow development suite for conversational agents, which was launched last fall and already in wide use. Dialogflow Enterprise Edition now has the ability to build AI-powered virtual agents for contact centers, a Phone Gateway for taking calls without infrastructure, Knowledge Connectors for understanding unstructured data like FAQs and Sentiment Analysis.
In Contact Center AI, a Virtual Agent first answers the call and handles it if possible. If not, it passes the call to a human representative, who is helped by an Agent Assist system that continues to monitor the call and provide supporting info as needed. There is also a Conversational Topic Modeler to analyze topics from audio recordings and chat logs.
In outline, it sounds like some other systems already out there, but the implication is that this is a contact center offering Duplex-like capability. Google is clearly wary of the negative feedback it received when Duplex — a human-sounding bot — was demoed in the spring. Its announcement made clear that Contact Center AI will observe “best practices,” which now include telling people when they are talking to a bot.