Best Buy Teams With Google on AI-Powered Virtual Assistant

Best Buy

Best Buy teamed with Google and Accenture on new artificial intelligence-powered offerings for customers.

The electronics retailer will begin letting customers get help from an AI-powered virtual assistant, which can help them troubleshoot product issues; make changes to their order delivery and scheduling; and manage software, Geek Squad subscriptions and My Best Buy Memberships, according to a Tuesday (April 9) press release.

“We also know that sometimes customers prefer speaking with an actual person to get the support they need,” Best Buy said in the release. “So, in the coming months, we’ll also launch a new suite of gen AI-enabled tools to help our customer care agents better serve customers over the phone.”

The AI tools will help care agents assess conversations with customers in real time and offer “in-the-moment, relevant and human-focused recommendations,” according to the release. The tools will also summarize conversations, detect sentiment, and use data from the call to lower the likelihood of similar issues recurring.

“And for our store employees across the country, we’re working to develop a gen AI-powered assistant to provide easier access to things like company resources and product guides,” Best Buy added in the release. “This will allow them to help customers more efficiently than ever.”

The announcement came the same day that Google introduced a series of AI updates for its cloud customers focused on enterprise applications.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS spoke last week with Charles Nerko, an attorney in Barclay Damon’s data security and technology practice area, about the ways businesses can protect themselves when introducing AI tools.

To guard against lawsuits, organizations that use AI should supervise the technology the same way they would supervise their human workforce, Nerko said. Contracts give AI providers the incentive to maintain high standards of accuracy and legality and set appropriate recourse when AI systems don’t meet benchmarks.

Craig Smith, a partner at the Boston law firm Lando and Anastasi who handles AI cases, added that companies using AI tools should carefully evaluate the systems to spot potential risks.

“Transparency will be key,” he said. “It is important to understand how the AI models were trained and tested to ensure reliable results.”

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