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Semantic Computing Update: Context Awareness Soon to Impact on Business Communications

Avaya Labs scientist Doree Seligmann sees "great benefits for business"

New computer technologies - driven by communications data and analytics - that intelligently automate our communications will transform the way we interact with each other to conduct business, according to Avaya Labs scientist Doree Seligmann.

"There are great benefits for businesses, improving communications within the enterprise, between the enterprise and its customers, and between different enterprises," Seligmann says.

"We can analyze conversations and collaborations to track knowledge and experience, so when a group needs to bring in a new team member to help on new problem we can identify the person with the most up-to-date information on that subject," Seligmann continues. "But we can do even more," she adds:

" We can try to make the most suitable match by considering other factors including up-to-date information about previous interactions within the group, past experiences with similar topics, level of expertise in communication skills, duration and tone of past conversations, language, and temperament. How to best gather and use this myriad of information is the focus of our collaborative communications research."

Seligmann is director of collaborative applications research for Avaya Labs. Her group has developed algorithms and models to infer an individual's communication context that includes presence, availability, whether they can be interrupted and are willing to interact, their area of expertise and their social cohesiveness. Her team has developed a number of inventions that leverage communication context - including a method for a calendar application to estimate the time you must leave the office in order to arrive promptly for a meeting, and a "personalized customer relationship management" application that tells you, how, when and how often a caller has tried to reach you and pops up pertinent notes for you to use during your call.

Since joining Avaya, Seligmann has filed more than 50 patents, most of which involve technologies designed to help people communicate more efficiently and effectively and have a higher-quality experience while doing so.

"What people are doing in their day to day business communications helps to identify who they should be interacting with and how," Seligmann says. "By combining context awareness and social networking, we expect to be able to establish more effective and successful interactions."

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