In the News: Toronto Company Ada Support Using AI to Fully Automate Customer Service Calls

April 19, 2023 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Joe Castaldo and Sean Silcoff, Globe and Mail

AI call centre assistant

Chatbot company Ada Support Inc. is aiming to automate a greater portion of its clients’ customer service inquiries with generative artificial intelligence, which it says will save costs and boost efficiency.

The Toronto-based firm has released what it calls fully automated software that includes chatbots to correspond with customers and automatically resolve some issues, along with generative voice technology to talk with people over the phone.

Companies have made claims about automation for years, said Sean O’Brady, an assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., who studies call-centre labour. Often, the reality has not lived up to the promises.

A lot of routine customer service functions have already been automated, but agents are still necessary to resolve more complex or idiosyncratic issues. Today, AI is more commonly used in call centres to provide assistance and guidance to agents. “I don’t know how much more space there is to automate the rest,” Prof. O’Brady said. When it comes to employment, call-centre workers are still more concerned about job losses due to outsourcing, not AI.

One risk in relying on automation is that customers could face hurdles when they need to reach a fellow human, and by the time they do, they’re deeply frustrated. “Sometimes the technologies that are there to make things simple are also creating more complexity for other calls,” Prof. O’Brady said.

Read the full article in The Globe and Mail.

Sean O'Brady

Assistant Professor, Human Resources & Management

Sean O’Brady is an assistant professor at the DeGroote School of Business. He is also an associate member of McMaster’s School of Labour Studies, a researcher at Cornell University’s Ithaca Co-Lab and a co-researcher with the Inter-University Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT). His research examines the politics of work and technology, precarious work, worker power, employment standards and institutions, and the social consequences of HRM practices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comment Policy

We generally welcome discussion on our blog posts. However, we reserve the right to edit or delete comments in certain situations:

  • Comments which include unrelated or suspicious links or messages (spam).
  • Comments which are off topic.
  • Comments which attack or threaten individuals or a group of people.
  • Comments which include profanity or messages that would generally be considered offensive or inappropriate by the McMaster community.

This site is moderated by the DeGroote Marketing and Community Engagement team. If you have any questions please email Katie Almas.