SoftBank Corp. Develops AI Technology to Convert Angry Customer Voices into Calm Tones

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SoftBank Corp. Develops AI Technology to Convert Angry Customer Voices into Calm Tones

SoftBank Corp. has introduced a groundbreaking AI innovation geared towards transforming the frustrating experience of dealing with irate customers for call center operators. This advancement in technology aims to shield employees from the psychological toll of handling customer harassment by altering the tone and pitch of the voice on the other end of the phone call, without changing the content of the conversation itself.

The inspiration for this voice-altering technology stemmed from employee Toshiyuki Nakatani, who conceived the idea after witnessing customer harassment on a television program. Through a meticulous process involving training the AI with over 10,000 voice data pieces performed by ten actors, the technology now has the capacity to modulate voice tones to make them more calming. Interestingly, while the technology softens the voice, a subtle hint of anger is retained to prevent misjudgments from the call operatives.

SoftBank's focus on reducing the pressure on call center employees by enhancing customer interactions through AI reflects a forward-looking approach to enhancing customer service. As technology progresses at a rapid pace, the question arises whether AI might eventually entirely replace human operators in managing customer complaints, yet Nakatani underscores the irreplaceable role of human empathy in addressing customer needs, emphasizing the AI’s role as a supportive mechanism rather than a total substitute. Looking ahead, SoftBank aims to refine the AI technology's accuracy through continuous learning from voice data with plans to make the technology available for sale by fiscal 2025.