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October 21, 2020

The Future of Augmented Intelligence: A Q&A with RingDNA


There are legitimate fears about human workers being replaced by machine learning and robots. It is bound to happen, at least on some scale. But instead of succumbing to unreasonable fears about machines destroying jobs en masse, workers are better served preparing for the inevitable adoption of new technology and embracing the opportunity to improve their productivity with AI–augmented intelligence, that is.

That’s the gist of the message from Howard Brown, the CEO of ringDNA, a Southern California company that uses machine learning techniques to boost the efficiency of its software for inside sales representatives. Brown recently sat down virtually to participate in a written Q&A with Datanami. Here’s what Brown had to say:

Datanami: What’s the best way to approach AI for businesses that want to augment their workers with AI as opposed to replacing them with it?

Howard Brown: As AI technology evolves, augmented intelligence, which is combining human and AI capabilities, will deliver the greatest benefits. Reframe AI as “augmented intelligence” to illustrate to employees how AI, machine learning (ML) and RPA can improve workforce effectiveness, operational efficiency and employee morale by taking on repetitive, low-value activities.

Analyze the value AI can deliver over time to your business. Prioritize what you can do to support and augment your employees, not just replace them. Organize AI goals along a time horizon. In the short term, use augmented intelligence to scale employee production by reducing human errors and automating routine tasks. In the medium term, use AI to augment and enhance human performance and talents. Allow AI to perform the most predictable and repetitive tasks while making room for workers to do the creative and exceptional parts of their job. Use AI to help augment your business so that your employees can focus human attention where it is most needed in order to help your customers.

Howard Brown is the CEO of ringDNA

“The goal of AI should be to empower humans to be better, smarter and happier, not to eliminate humans in favor of machines.”

DN: What sorts of jobs are the most conducive to being augmented with AI? What are the broad categories of ways in which human workers are augmented with AI?

HB: “Customer experience jobs are a primary use case of AI. Augmented intelligence reduces mistakes while delivering customer convenience and personalization at scale. The goal is to be more efficient with automation, while complementing it with human creativity and common sense.”

DN: How much more productive can workers be with AI?

HB: “If you can eliminate repetitive tasks and decrease error rates, workers can be exponentially more productive because they are focused on the activities that they’re best at and will drive more value. Spend more time training, educating, and improving those skills that are going to deliver the best results for the business.”

DN: How does ringDNA help workers get more work done via AI?

HB: “RingDNA helps every sales rep and manager by eliminating mundane tasks – like logging tasks/notes in Salesforce and surfacing context and talking points relevant to the buyer journey – so they can focus on next best actions to improve customer experiences that will drive revenue growth.

“RingDNA’s AI-powered sales enablement platform has analyzed more than a billion sales interactions. Based on this intelligence, ringDNA prioritizes outreach to maximize sales productivity while conversation intelligence helps inform messaging assuring reps are addressing buyer challenges and stay relevant to the buyer’s journey.

“RingDNA also helps sales managers transform into better sales coaches. Many managers waste hundreds of hours each year randomly listening to sales calls in order to find teachable moments. ringDNA analyzes every interaction, automatically surfacing insights into how reps are performing throughout sales conversations – with techniques such as asking open-ended questions, interrupting and monologues – as well as recommendations on how they can improve based on sales outcomes, so they can focus on the reps who need the most coaching in the exact moment they need support.”

DN: What should workers do to prepare themselves for using AI to become more productive?

HB: “Ask yourself – if you didn’t have to spend as much time doing repetitive tasks, where would you focus your training so your employees can deliver more value to your customers? Since augmented intelligence can take over low-value activities, preparing employees for AI may mean training and coaching them in soft skills so they can be laser-focused on better customer experience.”

DN: Thanks for your insight.

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