Delivery firm DPD faced embarrassment in the UK this week as its AI chatbot, designed for customer interaction, began swearing and criticizing the company when prompted by a customer. The incident pressed DPD to disable the AI element of its chatbot, attributing the behavior to an error following a system update. This incident adds to the list of AI chatbot mishaps, highlighting the need for proper management and control over AI models’ behavior.

In related AI news, globally, consumer satisfaction with customer service has hit an eight-year low due to frustration with dysfunctional chatbots and poor technology, according to the Institute of Customer Service. The Institute urges companies to address technology issues, offer human contact options, and prioritize customer trust to meet rising expectations during times of uncertainty.

Meanwhile, three UK councils ­– Canterbury, Dover, and Thanet – faced recent cyberattacks, which disrupted various online services. While the National Cyber Security Centre is collaborating with the affected councils to assess the incidents’ impact, cybersecurity experts suspect a compromise through outsourcing provider Civica. Although Civica has denied responsibility, this incident has highlighted the risk of supply-chain attacks on service providers, emphasizing the broader consequences for all customers. Investigations into this matter are ongoing.

News from Asia this week is that Varanium Cloud Limited, a digital, technology and internet services company, has announced an expansion, with a new BPO center in Maharashtra, India. The new center will focus on data accounting, background verification, and debt recovery, creating 200 IT jobs in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. The move aims to curb migration from small towns to cities by investing in local talent and infrastructure.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has introduced a dedicated call center service for children, offering information on immigration procedures. With a toll-free number accessible in both English and Arabic, the service aims to engage young callers, addressing queries about various services and procedures. The GDRFA has also launched the “Call Back Assist” feature, allowing customers to request a callback if the customer care agents are busy. The move aligns with GDRFA’s commitment to enhancing customer engagement and ensuring the wellbeing of young customers.

Invictus BPO, a nearshore BPO and ITO center headquartered in Belize, has recently acquired hosted call center management platform Kunnect. This move aims to leverage technological advancements for enhanced service offerings, by integrating Invictus BPO’s expertise in delivering customized outsourcing solutions with Kunnect’s Amazon-based hosted cloud solution. The collaboration is expected to boost service capabilities and operational efficiency and drive strategic growth.

Also in global news, Technavio, a market research and advisory company, has forecasted that the Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) market will grow by US$90.55 billion by 2027, with a 15.5% CAGR. The surge is attributed to the growing demand for KPO fueled by digital transformation, utilizing technologies like AI, machine learning, and robotics process automation (RPA).

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