Cape firm uses artificial intelligence to empower employees

Clevva co-CEO Ryan Falkenberg.
Clevva co-CEO Ryan Falkenberg.

Cape Town – Artificial intelligence – through machine learning and cognitive computing – can make humans more powerful instead of replacing them, according to Clevva co-CEO Ryan Falkenberg.

Clevva is an award–winning, enterprise-level software platform that lets you capture your company’s expertise - not just knowledge - and make it available to all your staff as and when they need it.

Speaking to Fin24, Falkenberg explained the complexity of the battle between humans and AI in the workplace.

“The large amount of risk we’re finding with people is when they get trained they forget most of what we train them,” he said.

“We see them as risks to our business. They don’t repeat the formula with consistency,” he said. “We are moving to AI to replace them, because we almost want to create virtual people.”

The question Clevva asks is whether there isn’t a middle ground.

“Aren’t we capable of using AI to capture the diagnostic formulas we want to repeat,” asked Falkenberg. “If we could rather … build navigators for staff that allow them to co-pilot with all the formula we want to get right in a consistent and compliant way, we liberate them from having to be brains that simply repeat formula and we say, we want you to bring your brilliance to our formula.

“You can start giving the customer engagement experience we’ve never been able to do.”

He said Clevva is “obsessed with capturing business formula in a dynamic way that can really help people execute all the formulas we need them to do, but add the value that human beings can actually add”.

It’s about “making people more powerful through technology, rather than trying to replace them”.

WATCH: Interview with Falkenberg

Technologies being developed that look to improve human performance

Falkenberg explained technologies are being developed that look to improve human performance, by removing the need for people to make certain decisions so they can focus on key areas of value add.

These technologies operate like decision-making GPSs, guiding staff through known decision and action paths (defined by policy, product and procedural rules), and adjusting the routes based on the specific situations encountered.

This allows staff to focus their efforts on their customers, without worrying that they may ask the wrong question, offer the wrong answer or take the wrong action. The GPS will ensure they stay on course, with a record to prove it.

Clevva has developed a technology platform that lets companies build decision-making GPSs to guide staff through every known decision and action, so that no matter what situation they find themselves in, they will get it right every time (and with a detailed record to prove it).

“This means that companies can effectively capture the logic key experts use to make sales, service, operations and technical decisions and actions, and offer this intelligence to staff as and when they need it,” Falkenberg explained.

“This means that instead of offering staff databases full of policy, product or procedural manuals and guides, they can simply offer them access to a single Virtual Expert capable of diagnosing their situation and then guiding their questions, answers and actions while they work with existing operating systems.

“The Virtual Expert can be accessed anywhere, whether off a taskbar icon that opens a stay-on-top floating window, or via a link embedded in existing websites or system screens. Whatever the case, staff no longer need to worry about what decision to make or action to take. Their Virtual Expert will guide them, like a GPS through the process and ensure they get it right, every time.”

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