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A robot with high ambitions

Torbjörn Askman 


18 January 2015


PA IT expert, Fred Johnsen, speaks to the editor-in-chief of Civilekonomen about the impact of automation on Sweden’s labour market.

The article focuses on the ‘Amelia’ robot – the brainchild of software company IPsoft – which understands the spoken and written language. 

Fred explains: “The special feature of this robot is it understands what you say and uses what it has learned to solve practical problems. This is a combination we have not seen before. Watson [created by IBM] has beaten two Jeopardy champions but Amelia goes one step further. It is the best example so far of a robot understanding the logics behind human thinking.”

Initially Amelia aims to replace labour-intensive customer services jobs, with travel agencies and insurance companies being prime examples. Fred adds: “This can mean huge time and cost savings. If Amelia does not understand a question she can pass it on to an administrator, and then the next time a customer asks it, she will be able to solve it.”

According to Fred, Amelia can be used for a large number of operations. For example, Amelia can handle loan requests at a bank and there is a possibility analysts' jobs may also be done by robots in the future.

However, even if Amelia masters 20 languages, understands spoken and written language and interprets the emotions of the person speaking, Fred says it still has a long way to go before being able to cope with more complex tasks.

For our thinking and insights on PA's experience in the area of innovation, click here, to take a virtual tour of PA's innovation and technology services and in-house facilities.

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