Meet Alex – data scientist here at ANNA

5 June, 2024 · 6 min read

We spoke with data scientist Alex, who works to ensure ANNAbot is as intelligent as possible.

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What do you do at ANNA? What team are you in? 🧑‍💻

As a data scientist, my focus revolves around data-centric tasks such as making insights and predictions, and conducting analytics. Within the Assistance team, my primary role involves enhancing the intelligence of ANNABot, the AI that interacts with customers in ANNA’s chat interface.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re currently working on?

We’re currently researching how to leverage the latest AI, such as ChatGPT, to provide automated customer support. When I see our customers happy after getting help from our chatbot, it feels great!!

Have you recently launched any features or projects? 🚀

Apart from the LLM-related tasks, we recently completed a large project to improve account name recognition in chat, a personal achievement I am proud of.

In some instances, a customer's message may solely consist of an account name. At first we assumed these messages indicated an intention to make a payment, so we automatically directed them to the payment process. We then realised that account name messages were often also for searching customer counterparts. In these cases launching the payment process based on these messages disrupted the user experience.

Through data analysis and leveraging some of the named entity recognition techniques, (yet another data science area!) not only did we improve the account name recognition system, but we also learned to distinguish between search and payment intentions so we could start an appropriate process for the customer. Double win!!

What’s a typical day for you at ANNA? ☕️

My working mornings are usually dedicated to meetings, including planning sessions and team syncs. After that, I take a short coffee break with my colleagues, where we chat about this and that. It’s a cosy routine, and I truly love this charming little tradition. The rest of the day is typically spent on less exciting tasks of research and coding :-)

What would your ideal alternative career be if you weren’t at ANNA?

As a child I was very interested in urban planning, a topic that still fascinates me today. So, I can well imagine myself as an architect or urban designer in an alternative universe :-)

What song always gets you dancing? 🕺🏼

Two options immediately come to my mind: Dance The Night by Dua Lipa (pretty obvious, right?) and It’s My Life by Bon Jovi.

Have you been up to anything memorable or exciting recently?

Recently, my friends and I embarked on our inaugural adventure with the board game Eldritch Horror. It's one of those immersive games where you dedicate two hours to unravelling the rules, play for another four hours, and then spend one more hour meticulously packing away the game pieces. Despite the length, it was an amazing experience!

At ANNA we love cats. Do you have one? 😽

I have always been more of a 'cat person' than a 'dog person', likely influenced by growing up in a household of avid cat lovers – my parents. That’s probably why ANNA's cat-loving style and design resonates with me. Although currently, I don't have pets due to my other responsibilities, I envision a future where in retirement, I might welcome a furry companion into my home. Who knows, maybe even a dog!?

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