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APCO taps IBM Watson to improve call handling

APCO IntelliComm will use the Watson speech-to-text and other machine learning capabilities to understand the actual context of the emergency calls

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Watson will help to reduce call times through its machine learning
Watson will help to reduce call times through its machine learning

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) has introduced APCO Intellicom, new guide card software that will leverage the functionality of IBM’s Watson speech-to-text and Watson analytics to help improve emergency call centre operations.

 

APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organisation of public safety communications professionals with more than 29,000 members. Its criteria-based guide card system provides telecommunicators responsible for dispatching emergency services with access to precise information for specific emergency call types.

 

It helps ensure that telecommunicators provide rapid and customised instructions so callers get the fast, consistent, and appropriate information they need and expect in an emergency.

 

Although national standards require that a certain percentage of these calls be evaluated, that percentage is small. Watson Analytics will enable call centres – also referred to as public-safety answering points (PSAPs) – to far exceed those professional standards on quality assurance case reviews through a dynamic and cognitive process, said IBM.

 

By November 2017, APCO will fully integrate selected Watson capabilities into its new IntelliComm software that will be deployed to five selected PSAPs for initial system acceptance.

 

In developing and delivering this solution for APCO, IBM Global Business Services (GBS) is teaming with Essextec’s Cognitive Innovations group.

 

APCO IntelliComm will use the Watson speech-to-text and other machine learning capabilities to understand the actual context of the emergency calls.

 

This information will be aggregated and then using Watson’s computational power, agency directors can more readily analyse the conversations and compare them to pre-scripted content. The resulting feedback will be provided in an easy to read format to agency and call centre directors in near real-time so they may modify training or response communications materials accordingly.

 

“[IntelliComm’s] extensive capabilities and unique analytic features will enable public safety communications professionals to improve response times and the quality of care on the scene while enhancing post-action data that’s key to continuous improvement back at the PSAP,” said Derek Poarch, executive director and chief executive officer, ACPO. “The ultimate result saves lives.”

 

“This augmented call taking and reporting will better inform directors on how the actual conversations between callers and telecommunicators unfold which may allow agencies to iteratively modify training materials to better meet callers’ needs,” added Bill Josko, IBM GBS public safety practice leader for the US.

 

“And since Watson is able to understand and learn more context overtime through machine learning, it can also help to reduce call times, provide accurate triage information, and help expedite time sensitive emergency services.”

 

 

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