SOURCE: In the Chat

In the Chat

April 09, 2014 15:50 ET

In the Chat and University of Waterloo Announce Research Partnership

Innovating Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to Improve Social Media Customer Service

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2014) - In the Chat Communications Inc. and the University of Waterloo announce a research partnership focused on the continued development of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to improve brand customer service via social media globally.

The research initiative is a joint effort between In the Chat, a leader in social media insights solutions, and the University of Waterloo, rated one of the world's leading engineering and technology universities. It will bring together world-renowned research and enterprise design for the benefit of consumers and their service providers worldwide, via faster, more reliable and more convenient customer service through social media.

Pascal Poupart, a professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo and Chris Howlett, Chief Technology Officer at In the Chat, will lead a joint team of PhD candidates and experienced data scientists to rapidly deploy evolving mathematical technologies and techniques to improve the harvesting and classification of social data for the purpose of enabling real time customer service support from companies.

"I was blown away when I saw what In the Chat can do. Somebody can simply tweet a comment and without even a mention of a particular company, In the Chat analyzes the comment and within a matter of seconds that company can act to improve their relationship with the customer," said Professor Poupart. "People are expressing themselves on social media and most companies don't yet have a sense of how to approach this. In the Chat makes this easy for companies by routing social media posts like a traditional IVR routes phone calls, sending them to the right agents to address the customer's interests."

Many solutions rely on keyword matching and manual sorting of social media posts, resulting in delays in customer support interactions. The new research partnership seeks to find new ways to improve the automation of this process so that companies can focus on what is really important -- taking care of their customers.

Howlett commented, "We're doing some exciting things with data right now, and we want to build on this momentum. The University of Waterloo brings a wealth of experience and innovative perspectives on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Together, we will continue to expand our platform to meet the needs of an increasing number of consumer-facing verticals while extending the global availability of our SaaS-based solutions."

Professor Poupart, whose research focuses on artificial intelligence, reasoning under uncertainty and machine learning, has carefully selected students pursuing machine and deep learning degrees to apply their methods to social data to better understand messages and aid with the harvesting and classification process.

The project will help In the Chat to continually evolve their ability to deliver the cleanest possible streams of sales, service and retention leads in social media, cutting through the noise to enable companies to drastically improve the customer experience.

For a hands-on demonstration of the work that In the Chat is doing with this data, go to itcexpress.inthechat.com and sign-up for a free 7-day preview.

About In the Chat
In The Chat (ITC) provides companies with a more effective way to find and connect with consumers via social media to drive sales, customer service and retention, and develop market insight. ITC's leading-edge text-mining capabilities power three social media solutions that enable better decision making, uncover new revenue opportunities and allow faster resolution of customer problems. ITC was founded by customer service expert John Huehn, formerly the VP of Customer Support at Canada's largest wireless, data and telecom company. ITC's management team has more than 100 years of customer service, direct sales and technology experience at some of the largest, most successful institutions in the world. For further information, visit www.inthechat.com.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

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