Nuance Expands Cognitive Innovation Group

Nuance Communications is expanding its Cognitive Innovation Group (CIG), which is focused on applying the latest advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to augment, automate, and improve customer service across channels. The group's charter will now span predictive AI and analytics, supported by the new AI Engagement Services and AI Research teams.

First launched in 2012, CIG's AI Lab is responsible for Nina, Nuance's conversational AI solution for mobile customer service, and Nuance's Human Assisted Virtual Assistant (HAVA) solution, which is now branded as Nina Coach.

Nuance also appointed Thomas Hebner as the new worldwide leader of CIG. Hebner previously led Nuance's voice user interface (VUI) design and professional services group in the Enterprise division.

"This group is successful because we are not only on the bleeding edge of innovation but also in touch with what our customers need to deliver the best service in their specific markets," he said in a statement. "By collaborating with leading global brands to dig deep into the areas where our technology can be the most powerful, we are able to invent forward-thinking AI capabilities that improve experiences while reducing cost."

The newly expanded initiative will focus on conversational AI, predictive AI, and analytics through the following workgroups:

  • AI Lab, charged with strategic experimentation to align AI innovation with market needs, engaging with customers to solve market problems, and matching the latest technology advancements and research discoveries with the specific and unique needs of enterprise customers;
  • AI Engagement Services, charged with tackling the tough problems to build real, repeatable AI solutions, helping enterprise customers overcome complex issues by prioritizing and formulating roadmaps, and using research and innovation workshops to advance AI implementations; and
  • AI Research, charged with collaborating to build the AI roadmap of tomorrow and developing core algorithms and technologies that will be foundational to sustained innovation in the customer service AI market.

"CIG has been instrumental in propelling our leadership role in the market, from launching Nina to building our advanced AI learning loop," said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance's Enterprise Division, in a statement. "The further expansion into analytics and predictive AI is demonstrative of our continued investment to make AI real for the enterprise. I'm confident that the team, under Tom's strong leadership, will continue to bring our customers the most intelligent, advanced solutions to help solve their evolving business needs."

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