Insider Lite #2 2023

by Dave Michels

This is the free Insider Lite report from TalkingPointz. Hopefully this time it will get emailed to subscribers the day of posting (automation is hard). ChatGPT continues to dominate the news (3 months now).

GPT, A Chatbot of a Different Color

What people really like about ChatGPT is its remarkable ability to generate text. It’s either a breakthrough in AI-human communications, or human language is not as complex as we thought. Regardless, GPT chatbots offer a near human-like interaction. Don’t be silly Toto, Bots aren’t smarter than scarecrows. These chatbots are essentially playing a sentence version of Name That Tune. They accomplish this autocomplete trick by using statistics, not a dictionary.

Unfortunately, this human-like interface came with another human characteristic: it lies. Technically, these GPT bots suffer from “hallucinations.” Because they don’t really understand what they are saying, they create untruths and can even cross into NSFW topics. That’s why using ChatGPT3 for search results is just silly

As predicted in the last two Insider Reports, Microsoft is having some challenges disrupting Google with GPT-Bing, but integrating this new AI tech into contact centers should be easier. Contact centers are inherently more structured than open-ended internet searches. That’s because identifying intent is easier — though not easy. With clear intent, GPT bots can keep the conversation on course, even if the caller brings up tangental or inappropriate topics.

While GPT chat is revolutionizing AI-human interactions, it’s really only useful with clear intent and context. This requires use of prior data, effective training, other forms of AI, and ongoing processes that ensure improvement and evolution. In other words, the human-AI interaction is the easy part.

The required heavy-lifting is validated by by the industry heavyweights that are launching the first GPT chatbots. Regarding new tech, often the leaders are slow to respond, but last month Cognigy and NICE announced GPT chatbots for contact centers. Last week, Five9 stated it has one coming too. These providers have the tools to leverage conversational data to better understand intent and context, and can plug-in GPT into their modular architectures. 

Many believe GPT is a magical wizard that will radically transform contact centers and self-service. While that’s partially true, pay attention to what’s going on behind the curtain. 

Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss

Cloud-delivered enterprise comms has begun its third decade, and it’s showing signs of the systems it replaced. Specifically, complexity and outages. 

Initially, the cloud was all about simplicity. Early adopters could replace their IT staff with a simple subscription. No more servers, UPS devices, certification training, and software upgrades. 

Those were the days. Today, apps need to work across devices and securely integrate with all of our data. I just spent a full week trying to get Mailchimp to email the first Insider Lite in 2023 to subscribers. The fix? Nothing. Turns out it was set up right all along. No one knows why it took a week to send.  

Outages are back too, or more accurately, never left. We’ve seen some pretty high-profile outages recently. You know the drill, everyone wonders what went wrong and then they blame it on human error.  

Microsoft 365 had a 338-minute outage on Jan. 25th. Microsoft 365 is very likely a state-of-the-art, highly automated, and sophisticated operation — so its perfectly reasonable that a human rather than a system caused the failure. However, I doubt many of Microsoft’s users will receive a credit for that outage. First, Microsoft only commits to three nines of service (99.9% availability), plus different failures affect different services and/or regions. Also, in turns out the definition of downtime has some subjective elements. 

“Nothing changes, so don’t get fooled again.” 

Other Stuff

This is just the free stuff, subscribe to the TalkingPointz Insider reports for more insights.

Good Reads

  1. Evernote and Notion take aim at enterprise collaboration market I’ve been saying this for years, UCaaS suites should embrace notetaking apps. 
  2. The Digital Workplace Is Designed to Bring You Down It’s clear that something in the great digital-workplace experiment has gone wrong.
  3. Employers are rebranding hybrid work Flex work is here. 
  4. Layoffs Often Leave Companies Worse Off Executives should be careful about making deep cuts. Having too few workers is almost always worse than having too many. When organizations are shorthanded, morale plunges and profits suffer. 
  5. How Apple Has So Far Avoided Layoffs: Lean hiring, no free lunches, and relatively slow growth of its workforce at 20% over the past three years.