Boston Consulting Group’s new advisor is a digital human

Boston Consulting Group’s new advisor is a digital human

‘Miku’ coaches support teams on work-life balance issues and project management

Credit: UneeQ

Global management firm Boston Consulting Group has just employed a 'digital human' as an advisor to its internal teams.

‘Miku’ the digital employee under training, however, had her first public interaction on stage.

This was at the recent IBM THINK in Sydney, where BCG managing director Miguel Carrasco showed how Miku is working with BCG’s PTO (Predictability, Teaming and Openness) facilitators.

“I help the PTO coaches to support teams by giving advice on work-life balance issues and sharing our top tips on project management,” explains Miku.

She then asks Carrasco, “Speaking of which, have you had a busy week? I can set up a few reminders on your calendar to prioritise some downtime.” 

“PTO is the way we work at BCG, and in many ways, it represents the core of our business,” says Carrasco on how they chose Miku’s focus.

“It made sense to use Miku to embody and support effectiveness in this area, especially as it’s an area we believe is crucial to our success as a company.”

He then explains how the company developed the digital human with UneeQ.

“From persona design through to integration with their chatbot - Miku took only a matter of weeks to stand up,” says Carrasco.  

Credit: BCG

From persona design through to integration with their chatbot - Miku took only a matter of weeks to stand up

Miguel Carrasco, Boston Consulting Group

“Miku automatically takes spoken text and speaks and behaves appropriately in context to the conversational data,” he adds.

“We also had the ability to override the AI engine with our own design and behaviour instructions. It truly was EQ by design - with incredible AI awareness, making the platform very easy and fast to implement.”

He says Miku’s implementation also showed them the potentials of a digital workforce.

“Training our digital human, Miku, to help consultants with critical project tasks has helped us understand digital human technology and how they can help enterprises gain an edge on efficiency; and their potential to radically improve customer experience.” 

Hermann Ruiz, BCG strategic designer, worked with the UneeQ team during the implementation.

“Rather than thinking of digital employees as robots operating independently on AI, organisations will unlock the potential of digital employees by thinking of them as an experience continuously crafted by humans, for humans, using AI,” he writes on Linkedin.

“Like advanced chatbots, digital employees use machine learning to deliver effective interaction,” he states.

“They recognise the intent of the user from unstructured user requests; they break down large content into common themes and recognise critical information; they integrate sensitive functions like booking flights or coordinating meetings.  

“Current machine learning can even understand emotions by inferring them from your word choices or intonation. Unlike chatbots, though, digital employees can respond to those emotions with gestures of acknowledgement, empathy and warmth.” 

“Digital employees are not just a piece of tech,” he concludes. 

“They are a medium to enable highly crafted empathetic human experiences at scale. For your digital employee to develop a relatable and friendly interaction that helps your customers stay with you and achieve what you promised to deliver, you need to combine computer science with human science and humanist skills.” 

Jody Boshoff, director of marketing at UneeQ, points out that digital humans require onboarding like any other employee. 

“The difference is that you train them once and they never forget,” says Boshoff. 

“They can also work around the clock across any platform - building relationship and trust. Each digital human employee can be uniquely designed, effectively allowing organisations today to design 'their kind of people'." 

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