After several months of planning and collaboration with CDO Club, we had the pleasure of hosting voice.over.ai, our first voice hackathon, — 24 hours dedicated to allowing developers to use the over.ai platform to design creative solutions to business problems.
Participants were able to choose from challenges with a variety of real-world use cases presented by event sponsors. Teams of four collaborated on their AI-powered voice solutions, and the projects they were able to produce in the short time exceeded expectations.
Team members consisted of developers, content marketers, product managers, data scientists, and more — giving an opportunity for developers and non-developers to collaborate and combine their skill sets in creating truly innovative projects. The challenge of creating a useful and functional agent goes well beyond pure coding, and creatives were able to use the user-friendly over.ai interface to create a conversational user experience while their developer teammates worked on the technological backbone. Developers worked mostly in Node.js and Python, and used over.ai’s webhook protocol to integrate external services into their agents, including APIs and real data provided by sponsoring companies such as UPS, Microsoft, and Nielsen.
Joining the Voice Revolution
Powerful and practical voice-enabled technology has not been ubiquitous for a long time; for many of our participants, this was the first opportunity they had to really explore NLU capabilities and incorporate them into a product. Though a lack of familiarity certainly presented an initial challenge, groups quickly learned to leverage the user-friendly platform, adapting and implementing their new skill sets into creative solutions. Towards the end of the event, teams were guided in presentation and pitch skills by our experienced mentors and executives of leading companies Here's a taste of the projects that resulted:
First Place: Created a virtual agent which is able to handle customer questions and complaints, identify unusual problems, transfer a caller to the correct department, and send automatic SMS to quality control leaders.
Team: Elementree — Omri Grosswirth, Uri Yosilevich, Ilan Mahabansky, Dor Zimberg, and Ohad Leshno
Second Place: Created a voice interface for creating eye and pharmacy appointments for the hard of sight and elderly
Team: Yael Keren, Kinneret Yifrah, Shahar Kaminski
Third Place: Created a system that monitors the satisfaction and mood of customer service callers, and executes an outgoing call to unsatisfied callers with a special offer.
Team: Lishay Sofi Noam, Nadav Cohen, Dor Perez, Hadas Rahamim, Alon Diamant
- A hybrid virtual customer service agent that is able to receive customer inquiries and respond appropriately, including dealing with customer complaints and directing them to the correct human representative.
- An IVR replacement that will be allow customers to check their order status, by having an agent check their request against the company database and quickly and accurately return an answer to the user in natural language.
- A retail agent that allows returning customers to reorder items and suggests items and deals the user may be interested in based on previous orders.
- Appointment scheduling for a company that provides technical repairs which collects data on customer availability, optimizes the technicians schedule based on this data, and notifies all customers of their scheduled appointment accordingly.
- Application for easy and efficient inventory and order management through a voice-based interface.
- A voice interface designed for the elderly and hard of sight that allows them to easily schedule pharmacy appointments and eye examinations.
- An agent for a consumer electronics company, providing customers with relevant answers to frequent questions and technical inquiries regarding their devices.
- An agent for a consumer electronics company that allows customers to check their warranty status and device repair status: location, cost, completion date, pick-up location, etc.
- Digital travel agent: reaches out to customers with recent purchases to review and confirm travel information. Also allows existing customers to check details such as baggage allowance, flight status and seating options, food selections, and more.
- Digital concierge: suggests relevant travel offers to a user based on their interests and other purchases, including hotel recommendations, car rentals, day trips and attractive destinations.
- A voice-based agent that applies a more efficient method of package tracking, using identifying information to place the user's call in context and immediately returning useful and relevant information.
- A package tracking agent that allows users to access details such as shipping status and estimated delivery date, also automating an SMS to the user containing a link to live order tracking.
- An agent that uses speech-to-text capabilities to transcribe conversations between customer service representatives and customers, allowing near real time monitoring and analytics of all customer interactions.
- An agent that interacts with and assists people with speech disorders, which is designed to identify the user's intent and continue a conversation despite the user's speech impediment.
- Virtual event planner: is able to call a list of potential event attendees, confirm their attendance, and answer related questions such as schedule, costs, and organized events.
- CDO Club IL — CDO Club's 5,000+ member community is the world's largest community of C-suite digital leaders, including digital strategists and practitioners at the world’s most influential organizations.
- UPS — A multi-billion dollar package delivery company, providing logistics and operations in more than 200 countries globally.
- Avaya — Avaya is a global leader in digital communications software, services, and devices for businesses of all sizes.
- Microsoft ScaleUp — An accelerator focusing on funding Series A startups, providing access to sales, marketing, and technical support.
- Nielsen — A multi-billion dollar global leader in information and data analytics, with operations in more than 100 countries.
- Strauss — Strauss is the largest Food & Beverage company in Israel, with over 20 manufacturing facilities and logistic centers throughout the country and 13,000 points of sale.
- i.am+ — i.am+ is a Hollywood-based technology company founded by will.i.am, working to combine music and technology to create an AI-powered future.
- SuperPharm — SuperPharm is a leader in the digital transformation of the pharmacy industry and the largest pharmacy organization in Israel, with more than 240 branches and 7,000 employees nationwide.
- H.Y. Group — H.Y. Group is one of the largest importers and distributors of electronic products and components in Israel.
- Gulliver — Travel technology company owned by Gulliver Group, Israel's leading investment group in online travel.
- Ronlight — Ronlight is a distributor of consumer electronics in Israel, and is the sole distributor of LG and Garmin products.
- Microsoft Video Indexer — Uses AI-powered media technologies to provide users with valuable video analytics and strategies for increased user engagement.
- Chatbot Summit — An international event series connecting global technology leaders who believe natural language will be the next curve in digital experiences".
- Ben Gurion University — One of the leading institutions of higher education in Israel, with around 20,000 students across five campuses.
Special thanks to the representatives from our sponsors:
Amit Kama, CEO, Kamedia; Michael Mitrani, Head of Digital and Innovation at Super-Pharm; Dina Shoval, Innovation & Digital Marketing Director at Strauss; Meni Dahan, Head of CX & Digital and eCommerce; Shiri Amiram, CMO at Gulliver Tourism Ltd.; Guy Gadnir, Managing Director of Avaya Israel; Shay Guttman, VP, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, O.P.S.I UPS; Omri Zohar, Watch Lead & Commercial Director, Nielsen Marketing Cloud at Nielsen; Ariel Tzur, VP Marketing and Innovation at Ronlight
And another big thanks to all of our experienced mentors for volunteering your time!
Tamar Barzuza, CTO, Avaya Israel; Eti Finkelstein, CEO Microsoft Scaleup; Uri Eliabayev, AI Consultant, Product Manager, Community Manager; Adi Polak, Senior Software Developer, Microsoft; Ariel Kedem, Director of Product, Culture Trip; Matty Marianksy, Co-founder, Meekan; Omri Shamir, Digital Team Leader, O.P.S.I UPS; Sima Vikrovitsky, Customer Service Manager, O.P.S.I UPS; Keren Shtainmetz Cahila, Digital Analyst & Senior Developer, O.P.S.I UPS; Tsipi Chester, Customer Service Manager at Strauss Group inc.; Fabricio Scheinsohn, Marketing Manager, Ronlight; Ronen Chenn, Solidbi.com CEO & Founder; Shay Ben Elazar, Senior Researcher, Media AI (Video Indexer), Microsoft; Orly Shechtman, Product Manager, Avaya; Itamar Kaufman, Senior Developer, Storyball; David Doe, COO, Gulliver; Eldad Yanai, CS and Operation Manager, Gulliver Tourism ltd.; Vladimir Strutsovsky, Senior team-leader, Avaya; Ika Bar-Menachem, Senior Software Engineer, Media AI (Video Indexer), Microsoft R&D; Hila Ben David, Israel e-commerce manager, Strauss Coffee; Shira Chorny, Public Speaker, Trainer, Workshop Developer & Teacher, Event Host; Ayelet Sapirshtein, Python Developer; Ofer Sela, R&D Project & Product Management, Avaya; Anna Konstantinovsky, Product Manager, Perion; Zahit Eldshtein, Customer Experience & Data Manager, Strauss