Meet Amelia, the humanoid program that will soon replace call center agents

BPO companies may soon add another member to their workforce with the introduction of Amelia, a humanoid program that can answer phone calls and technical queries with human-like response.

Developed by New York-based company IPsoft, Amelia is basically a software algorithm / virtual engineer that can answer phone calls and respond to technical questions in a fraction of time humans do.

rise of the machines
This is not Amelia, but soon…

Amelia can work in ten languages, can provide basic infrastructure management support services, and has the ability to clone itself to handle peak-hour traffic. It can help BPO companies cut costs by as much as 75% (because, you know, less human agents will be needed) and promises 30-40% savings in infrastructure and management costs.

Although Amelia looks promising, it is only capable of handling repetitive tasks (boring tasks) being done by its human counterparts. In other words, those with complex tasks are not in danger of getting replaced. Well, at least for now, as Amelia is also capable of self-learning.

“Robotic automation is set to completely disrupt the BPO and information technology outsourcing markets,” said Alastair Bathgate, CEO of Blue Prism. “At least 90% of BPOs will use some form of robotic automation within five years.”

The BPO industry is currently valued at more than $400 billion with India and the Philippines as leading hubs in Asia.

Amelia is scheduled for a soft launch this June for some of IPsoft’s banking clients and will be made available for its other clients by the end of the year.

{source} {via}

51 Comments on this Post

  1. Henry Canizares

    this should not be lunch here in the Philippines millions will loss jobs

    • Kill Switch

      Launched. Lose. Geez, man..

      So anyway, the software is still in its infancy. It will take a long time until it can match intuitive abilities of a human being so don’t fret just yet. Besides, people lose their jobs all the time. There will simply be ways of creating new ones in the long run for the reason of necessity.

    • dangerr

      I agree. this should be dinner.

    • toby nick

      How about dinner?

    • lunch_loss

      kung ganyan grammar ng call center agents ko maghi-hire na lang nga ako ng robot LOL

    • naruto731

      i think his sentence should be constructed as:

      “this should not be launch here in the Philippines as millions will lose their jobs”

      hindi rin launched… kasi hindi pa naman ginagawa… pag may “ed” ibig sabihin past na, or natapos na…

      grabeng grammar yun….

      i think replacing humans with robots will surely cut the cost… but then will they be really effective in the near future… callers are individuals and tackling their problems is a case to case basis… a computer could store data, but then cannot process a solution definitely worth calling for…

    • istingki

      LOL! Nangaral pa ang isang tanga! “should not be launch” daw HAHAHA! Bumalik ka sa elementary ha. Bago ka mangaral siguraduhin mong tama pinagsasabi mo.

    • dangerr

      takte, isa pang tanga sa grammar nag comment. @naruto371

    • hehehe kung may like button lang dito i laLike ko ang comment ni istingki hahahahhaha

    • Mukang kailangan na talaga ng robot haha…
      AI na ang dapat dito..
      tara breakfast tayo

    • Mang Tomas

      Dios mio Naruto. Mangngaral ka na lang palpak pa. Paano ka pa magiging Hokage nyan? Heto oh, balikan mo elementary.


      Your comment made my day!

      pwdeng brunch nlng? loss jobs?

    • sa totoo lng wala naman akong problema sa maling spelling ni @henry…pero sana nagtagalog n lng.d naman nakakamatay un.pero POTANGENA NAMAN, kung magtatama k n nga lng ng spelling/grammar siguraduhin mong tama ka lalo n kung may pakutya k pang sinabi dun sa cinorrect mo. nakakabobo ka @naruto e.wag mangaasar kung mali k rin.

    • Henry’s & Naruto’s posts made my day! Thanks, guys! :)

    • @naruto ,
      You almost got it right when you said “i think his sentence should be constructed as” the sentence should be constructed the same way, they should be in passive voice form where the subject is being talked upon and the doer is acted on.

      Anyway just keep on going, you have just learned it in a hard way.

    • I appeal for a petition for us to have breakfast, lunch and dinner

    • Ang saya saya. wahaha. wooooo!! nag enjoy ako s pangaral ni naruto.

      Madaming ganyan ngaun, puro past tense ang pag e2nglish nila. sabi nga nila epic “failed” haha. :)

    • Wilbert

      Ok lang yung nagkamali sa pag-eenglish si henry..
      Pero yung “pagtatama” ni naruto, wagas!!!

  2. Hen-Sheen

    It’s like playing “Guns of the Patriots”. More like an A.I. software, from Agent to Senior Operations Manager, they too will suffer the wrath of evolving technology. Since Eric Snowden, He might have foreshadow “Prism” as an A.I. Super Digital program that will change the way we do things. Input, Acknowledge, Execute…..

  3. agentsmith

    You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Anderson…

  4. 1. The software is limited and, despite being “self-learning,” will take many years to go beyond simple tasks. Think if this like a step up from the IVRs when you want to find out your credit card balance or how much you owe Globe. It will require significant advancements in computing power/speed, voice recognition (think of how frustrating voice-activated devices and responses are now), and in infrastructure.

    2. Though the cost of CPU power and storage is dropping, these devices/systems require super-fast CPUs and huge amounts of RAM and storage to function. While scaling reduces overall cost, the upfront investment will be massive.

  5. abuzalzal

    Pabor ako dito at ng mabawasan ang mga rude at tactless na Bumbay na akala mo sila na pinakamagaling

  6. Zobel

    Wacha ya gonna do when robots come for you?

  7. rockz

    Customer: Can I speak to a live person?

    A.I. Agent: I’m sorry but no live person is around. Can I help you with something else?

    Customer: Can I speak with your manager?

    A.I. Agent: Let me transfer you to the manager.


    A.I. Manager: This is the manager. (in robotic sound)

    Customer: HANGUP!

    IMHO, customers needs personal touch (virtually, especially to irate customers) and I don’t think these robots will be able to provide.

    Siguro andaming DSAT sa QA nito. lol

    • paper

      Doesn’t help much when the live people act like robots themselves

  8. dangerr

    Nag call center ako dati. At ang mga gusto ng customer talaga eh live customer. Ayaw nila ng automated responses. Lalo na yung mga matatanda.

    Kung nag trabaho ka sa call center, you’ll know.

    • Lolwut

      Gusto ng customer ng live customer?

    • buti wala ka na sa BPO industry :D

    • Live representative siguro . pag customer din hinahanap nya mahirap yun sir . Wala silang masosolve na issue

    • D'nephew

      You are a “dangerr” to the BPO industry.

  9. I guess it’s safe to say that the AI will have much better grammar…

    • rockz

      If you have worked in a call centre before, grammar is not really important though its a must.

  10. rockz

    ^^ unless you’re working for e-mail and chat support.

  11. james

    si naruto andun sa likod ni abuzalzal at natutulog kya nung exam na mali daw ung sagot ni abuzalzal sa exam dapat daw launch indi launched ung sagot.wahaha.boompanes!

  12. ambin

    LMAO at the comments. Call center agent ako at isa sa mga kinabwibwisitan ko ang mga Indian at Chinese na nagmamagaling. Sila pa ang may ganang mag ask ng supervisor kasi daw di ako marunong mag English mga animal hahaha

  13. carloxy

    mejo natatawa ako dun sa nangtama pero mali din pala. pero di ko magets baket daming gustong gustong mangcorrect na may halong yabang, mapa tama man o mali ung isasagot. Tama nga ung utol ko na nag US.. mga Pilipino lang maarte/sensitive sa ganyang bagay, eh ang mga kano nga eh wala pakialam kahit barok ka o hinde. And besides, panu maiimprove nung tao ung English nya eh may halong kanchaw pa kayu pag sumusubok sya. tsk tsk tsk..

  14. miguelitopogi

    I too work in a BPO as a tech support rep. In my line of work, taking calls is only part of my job. Change is good. We don’t expect the children of our future becoming call center agents, do we? We want a better future, in this case career for them. :)

    • I can’t agree with you more. I, myself, used to work in the BPO industry for almost three years. I quit from that industry not because I could not handle the tasks, but because I knew the industry is a dead-end career for me. Now, I am managing my business of more than 5 years. It is sad that in our present generation, majority of those who just graduated a four-year course would simply opt to work in a call center. The young should realize that they need to develop and hone more skills if they want to be competitive and survive the “jungle”.

  15. This is a threat to our BPO industry. Whether Amelia is dumb or a fast learner it should not matter. Automation will result in jobs lost. This is evident with the use of ATMs. Banks don’t need many tellers now because of these machines. And these are dumb machines years behind Amelia in terms of technology. Gov’t should look ahead to plan for other job generators otherwise this will be another Yolanda hitting us unprepared.

  16. juanNGtelco

    LOL! empathy, AI can define it, but it cannot perform such act..

  17. Harley

    I find the comments more interesting than the article itself.

  18. it is still in infancy stage and there is still lot of time for workers that could be threaten by humanoid who are doing menial and monotonous jobs to hone their skills and find more auspicious jobs.

  19. KiloDelta

    mababawasan na ang mga nag ffeeling sosyal at coño sa pinas.. though its a downside to our economy coz call center agents spends a lot..

  20. The tech needed is pretty much already mainstream. Just look at your own smartphones (Siri, Google Now). Plus, some of these jobs have already been replaced with websites and web applications anyway(e.g., Banking and Travel Bookings).

    This will seriously suck for the Phils., but we need to get with the times. Limitado and asenso pag puro BPO lang pinupuntahan ng mga graduates natin. Nasasayang lang ang ilan sa mga potential scientist at engineers ng Pinas.

  21. You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day.

  22. cspen

    naaliw ako sa mga comments nyo hehe….cge magpagalingan pa kayo hehe..kayo na!

  23. james

    mga kuya ,mga sir,mga boss,mga tsip di nman ibig sabihin na si amelia na ang ipapalit sa mga chicks nu na nagwowork sa callcenter ha!,sabi nga infancy stage pa lang ang AI program na yan. si. siri nga d umubra si amelia pa!,gusto mo patunay?
    ,try mo visayan accent hilong hilo si siri maghanap!.hahaha

  24. Rainbow Rat

    You guys need to watch “Her”. Papunta na siguro tayo sa “AI age” wala na masyadong interaction ang mga tao. Check niyo minsan, halos lahat na nga tao nakayuko na sa mga gadgets nila. They always have to take it out whenever they have free time (minsan nga kahit hindi, they multitask). Yung anak ko, halos buong araw hawak yung Ipad niya. Nakakatakot. We are so much dependent to our technology and we seem to take for granted and lose the “human touch” on things.

  25. Summer

    Customer: “What is your aspiration in life?”

    Amelia: “oh, my aspiration in life is to be happy.”


Leave a Reply