Gartner predicts that, “By 2021, 15 percent of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400 percent from 2017.”

That’s impressive, but hardly a rallying cry for the world’s call center agents to go out and look for new jobs. Instead, artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be an augmentor of humans in the contact center. While AI may replace some call center tasks and improve customer self-service, the most dramatic impact will come from the technology’s ability to help agents, rather than replace them.

Below we look at three AI-powered use cases that are making their way into today’s contact centers. See how they can help customer experience at your company:

1. Live Agent Assistance:

Google Cloud and Salesforce recently announced how their using AI to assist agents by feeding them useful information, articles, and knowledge based on real-time customer interactions. While agents are engaged with customers, the solution transcribes conversations, uses speech analytics and AI to find the right knowledge, and then makes those insights available to agents on their desktop exactly where and when they need it.

2. Automatic Topic Determination:

A good customer experience often comes down to speed. Speed of answer, time to resolution, and so on. But the fact is that most agents have little to no idea about why a customer is calling before they are connected, forcing them to ask questions and make customers repeat information. AI’s ability to quickly factor in more data during customer interactions is helping agents overcome this challenge. The result is dramatically faster customer workflows with agents that are armed with more knowledge about customers and their immediate needs.

3. Improved Call Routing:

Getting customers connected to the right resource at the first time can mean the difference between a loyal customer and a loss to the competition. While contact center interaction routing has grown to be highly sophisticated over the years, especially in omni-channel environments, AI is upping the game by leveraging better algorithms based on real-time information and scenarios. The resulting reductions in hold times, call transfers, and frustrated customers help agents maintain more positive customer interactions with more positive outcomes.

We’re arguably in the early days of AI in the contact center. You can expect to see more agent assistance solutions, as well as more breakthroughs in automation and self-service.

To learn more, read this recent CIO article on Practical AI in the Contact Center by analyst Zeus Kerravala.