Google launches AI call center in 28 languages to promote vaccine equity, help public health leaders

Google Cloud is launching a call center with virtual agents to assist callers in 28 languages to address COVID-19 questions and share the data with public health agencies.

Mike Daniels, Google Cloud's vice president of the global public sector, said in an April 15 blog post that virtual agents will be able to interact with people in real time, in 28 different languages and dialects, and the call center will be open 24/7.

The virtual agents will be able to direct users to local resources, locate local vaccine sites and provide guidance on the registration process. They can also answer questions, assist with scheduling and registration, and send follow-up reminders. Virtual agents are available to talk through multiple platforms, including chat, text messages, web, mobile and over the phone. 

"We never would have been able to handle this on the legacy system," said Sandra Beattie, a New York state COVID-19 task force member and first deputy state budget director. "There were times we were handling terabytes of data in rapid frequency. This was a tremendous undertaking which no other state in the nation has done, all while managing not to have a registration or scheduling mishap."

After New York implemented the AI call center, it was able to deflect around 25 percent of incoming calls, as callers were able to get answers through the virtual agents.

"The virtual agents will not replace human agents, but will provide a menu of interactive options," Mr. Daniels said. "AI-assisted call centers can expedite the delivery of information, triage calls and streamline the final resolution based on the needs of the individual."

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