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Brave new world A new company in Newcastle is offering a revolutionary concept in communication which could make call centre staff a thing of the past. Artingence, an "artificial intelligence" company, is the latest tenant to take up residence at the Centre for Life.

Imagine a call centre 'staffed' by agents who consistently perform at the highest level, never take a day off sick, cost a fraction of the usual price and don't need holidays, heating, lighting or even the toilet? Unlike human agents, they provide consistently excellent customer service while staffing and management overheads are dramatically reduced.

A new company in Newcastle is offering a revolutionary concept in communication which could make call centre staff a thing of the past. Artingence, an "artificial intelligence" company, is the latest tenant to take up residence at the Centre for Life, Times Square.

The company is developing technology which will allow call centres to be staffed by artificially intelligent software agents that have not only been trained just like human agents but will also sound like real people. These software agents will be trained and managed in the same way they are today, but companies will be able to focus on improving customer service rather than staffing issues. Because of the cost effectiveness of this solution, companies will be able to bring their operations back to the UK rather than running them offshore, creating high grade jobs locally.

Newcastle born Karl Dorner, who formed Artingence last year, explains: "Imagine a call centre 'staffed' by agents who consistently perform at the highest level, never take a day off sick, cost a fraction of the usual price and don't need holidays, heating, lighting or even the toilet? Unlike human agents, they provide consistently excellent customer service while staffing and management overheads are dramatically reduced."

After gaining a degree in computer science in 1986, Karl worked in a variety of software related roles before helping to build up the European arm of Convergys, the largest call centre outsourcing operation in the world. Having been involved in the evolution of call centres and customer relationship management systems, he now sees his vision of the Artificially Intelligent Call Centre as the next evolutionary step.

With three out of four Artingence directors hailing from the North East, the company's head office is based firmly in Newcastle but it is expected that business will be global. As Artingence grows, they are expecting to become a major IT employer in the North East creating a significant number of jobs in software design, development and support.
The Centre for Life's chief executive, Linda Conlon, said: "At the Centre for Life, it's one of our objectives to support science-based businesses like Artingence and to help them become established. I am delighted to welcome them to our science village."

Media contact: Kate Slater or Nicola McIntosh at Centre for Life, 0191
Out of hours contact: 07889 203426

Note to editors:
Adam Rogers and Karl Dorner are available for interview.
For more information on Artingence visit http://www.artingence.com

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