Minerva CQ, a startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area, makes customer service calls faster and more efficient for both agents and customers, with a focus on those in the energy sector.
NVIDIA Inception’s member name is a hybrid of the Roman goddess of wisdom and knowledge, as well as collaborative intelligence (CQ), or a combination of human and artificial intelligence.
The Minerva CQ platform trains contact center agents to guide customer conversations—whether in voice or web chat—to the most effective solutions by offering real-time conversation suggestions, sentiment analysis, and optimal interaction flows based on customer intent. It also displays relevant context, articles, forms, and more.
Based on the NVIDIA Riva Software Development Kit, Minerva CQ features best-in-class automatic speech recognition (ASR) capabilities in English, Spanish and Italian.
“Many contact center solutions focus on chatbot automation, but our solution allows AI to complement the work of humans, because when humans and machines work together, they can do more than a human or machine alone.” he said. Cosimo Spera, founder and CEO of Minerva CQ.
The platform first transcribes the conversation into text in real time. This text is then fed into the Minerva CQ artificial intelligence models, which analyze customer sentiments, intentions, inclinations, and more.
Minerva CQ then offers agents the best way to help their customers, as well as other additional ways to solve the problem.
According to Jack Garrett, Minerva CQ Concept Architect, the speech AI platform can understand voice and text conversations both in the context of a specific exchange and the broader customer-business relationship.
Check out the Minerva CQ demo:
Speech AI powered by NVIDIA Riva
Last month, Minerva CQ announced the creation of the first and most accurate Italian ASR model for enterprises, adding to the platform’s existing English and Spanish capabilities. The Italian ASR model has a word error rate of less than 7% and is expected to be rolled out early next year at a global power company and telecommunications provider.
“When we were looking for the best combination of accuracy, speed, and cost to create an ASR model, NVIDIA Riva was at the top of our list,” Spera said.
Riva allows Minerva CQ to offer real-time responses. This means that the AI platform can broadcast, process and transcribe conversations – all in less than 300 milliseconds or in the blink of an eye.
“Riva is also fully customizable to meet our customers’ unique challenges and has industry-leading accuracy,” said Daniel Hong, director of marketing for Minerva CQ. “We were able to quickly and efficiently tune the pre-trained language models with the help of experts from the NVIDIA Riva team.”
Access to technical experts is one of the benefits of participating in NVIDIA Inception, a free global program that supports cutting-edge startups. Spera listed AWS loans, pilot project support, and collaboration on a go-to-market strategy among the ways Inception supports Minerva CQ.
In addition to Riva, Minerva CQ uses the NVIDIA NeMo infrastructure to build and train its conversational AI models, and the NVIDIA Triton Inference Server for rapid and scalable deployment of AI models.
In addition to its customer focus, Minerva CQ is also dedicated to agent wellbeing and creating opportunities to track their satisfaction and experience. The platform enables employees to be experts at their jobs from day one, which greatly reduces agent workload, instills confidence, and lowers layoff rates and operating costs.
In addition, Minerva CQ automatically provides conversation summary reports, providing agents and supervisors with actionable feedback and analytics teams with valuable business insights.
“Overall, Minerva CQ empowers agents with knowledge and allows them to have confidence in the information they share with customers,” Hong said. “Simple customer queries can be addressed with automated self-service or AI-enabled chatbots, so when agents are faced with complex issues, Minerva can help.”
Focus on energy retail, electrification
The initial deployment of Minerva CQ is focused on retail energy and electrification.
For retail energy providers, the platform offers agents simple and consistent explanations of energy sources, tariff plans, billing changes, and optimal spending options.
It also helps agents solve complex EV customer problems and EV technicians troubleshoot infrastructure and logistics issues.
“Retail energy and electrification are inextricably linked to the move towards decarbonisation, but they can still be relatively isolated in the market space,” Garrett said. “Minerva helps bring them together.”
The Minerva CQ is deployed by a leading electric vehicle company as well as one of the largest utilities in the world, according to Spera.
At these customers’ contact centers in the United States and Mexico, Sper said the average turnaround time for a help desk call was reduced by 40% thanks to Minerva CQ. Further rollouts are planned for the Spanish-speaking market as well as Italian-speaking countries.
“We all want to save the planet, but it’s important that change comes from the bottom up, allowing end users to take steps towards decarbonization,” Spera said. “We are focused on providing information to customers so they can make the best transition to a green energy subscription.”
He added: “In the coming years, we would like the Minerva CQ brand to become synonymous with electrification and decarburization.”
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