Google’s new AI tools scan documents, take phone calls, & search for products

With enterprise adoption of AI on the (up 270 percent over the past four years, according to Gartner), it’s only sensible that Google should chase corporate clients with new cloud services powered by machine learning. At its eponymous Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco this week, the company took the wraps off of a host of targeting corporate pain points like document analysis, inventory and demand forecasting, and customer service touchpoint management.

“Many enterprises see the value in applying AI and machine learning to their challenges, but not all have the necessary resources to do it,” said Google Cloud group product manager Levent Besik in a blog post. “Businesses need a quick and easy way to bring AI to their organizations, [and] from the beginning, our goal has been to make AI accessible to as many businesses as possible.”

Toward that end, Google today launched Document Understanding AI in beta, a serverless platform that automatically classifies, extracts, and structures within contained within scanned physical and digital . It integrates with existing products from Iron Mountain, ​Box​, DocuSign, ​Egnyte​, ​Taulia​, UiPath, ​Accenture, and others, and Google says that customers who’ve tapped it for custom document classification have seen up to 96% accuracy.

“Most companies have billions of documents and moving that information into digital or cloud-native solutions where it can be easily accessed and analyzed can involve many hours of manual entry,” Besik said. “Document Understanding AI can help automate document processing workflows. This means you can … start making data-driven business decisions faster and more accurately.”

In a related announcement, Google revealed that Contact Center AI, which made its debut at last year’s Cloud Next conference, is now in beta, along with Virtual Agent, Agent Assist, and Topic Modeler. For the uninitiated, Contact Center AI builds on Google’s Dialogflow Enterprise Edition and interacts with customers over the phone, fielding incoming calls and using natural language processing to suggest solutions to common problems. If the virtual agent can’t solve an issue, it seamlessly hands the caller off to a agent and presents the agent with information relevant to the call at hand.

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Google says it’s introduced improvements to the voice model that “make it easier for customers to have conversations with virtual agents,” and that 8×8, Avaya, Salesforce, and Accenture will join Cisco​, Five9, Genesys, Mitel, Twilio, and Vonage as Contact Center AI launch partners.

On the retail side of things, Google is today rolling out Vision Product , which uses its Cloud Vision technology to enable stores to create Google Lens-type smartphone experiences. Apps integrated with Vision Product will let customers snap photos and screenshots of products and surface similar items from a catalog in real time. Meanwhile, Product Recommendations powered by Google’s Recommendations AI will continuously take into account real-time user behaviors and dynamic environments (like changes in assortment, pricing, and special offers) to deliver personalized product recommendations.

Both complement Google’s eCommerce Hosting, which offers flexible hosting capabilities for ’ ecommerce platforms, and Real Time Inventory Management and Analytics, which provides inventory visibility across shelves, aisles, and stockrooms. That’s in addition to Empowered Associates​, a G Suite solution designed to “organize, engage, and inform” store employees, managers, and executives, and ​AutoML Tables​, which allows retailers to automatically build and deploy machine learning models on structured data.

“Today’s announcements build on our goal of making AI accessible to every business, wherever they may be in their AI journey,” Besik said. “As applied machine learning serves more industries, our goal is  to provide more packaged solutions as well as the best-in-class AI tools you need to deploy  and customize solutions to suit your business or industry.”

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