Presented By O’Reilly and Intel AI
Put AI to Work
April 29-30, 2018: Training
April 30-May 2, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

AI and the future of customer service: Meet Expensify’s new AI-assistant, Concierge

David Barrett (Expensify )
1:45pm–2:25pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • CEOs, CTOs, CFOs, engineers, and all C-level executives

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of chatbots, open source platforms, natural language processing, and machine learning

What you'll learn

  • Explore Concierge, Expensify's hybrid machine learning-driven chatbot
  • Understand the challenges and successes of creating a hybrid system of humans and AI to improve customer service, ways chatbots are impacting the enterprise, and how AI and machine learning chatbots are changing the future of customer service and engagement


The future of AI isn’t just automated technology or robot friends. In fact, Expensify’s technical founder and CEO David Barrett believes that it starts with something much simpler and with much more impact on the enterprise: customer service. Case in point, Expensify’s new AI-driven assistant, Concierge.

David spent the past year building Concierge to streamline and improve Expensify’s customer service. Since launching, it has reduced customer response time from 15 hours to as little as 3 minutes.

Unlike most AI-driven chatbots today, which are incredibly limited in their responses due to preprogrammed scripts, Concierge incorporates a hybrid system of machine learning, NLU, and humans to engage with customers. Concierge studies responses of human customer service representatives to create a set of tens of thousands of repeatable answers chained in a conversational hierarchy. From there it answers the questions it knows, and those it doesn’t know escalate to a human representative—this combination of humans and AI is crucial to the success of AI in the enterprise. And Concierge is constantly learning and becoming more powerful, meaning it won’t make the same error twice.

Drawing from his experience building this hybrid AI-assistant, David leads a deep dive into the process of building a chatbot, the challenges faced, successes and results to date, and what he sees for the future of AI and customer service.

Photo of David  Barrett

David Barrett


David Barrett is founder and CEO of Expensify, where he’s relieving the world’s frustrations, one expense report at a time. Expensify processes billions of dollars in reimbursements every day across 50,000 companies and more than five million users around the world. A pioneer in the fintech space, David started programming at age of six. Previously, he wrote 3D graphics engines for the video game industry and joined Uber’s Travis Kalanick to build Red Swoosh, a peer-to-peer file transfer technology (acquired by Akamai in 2007). David attended the University of Michigan, where he worked in the Virtual Reality Lab.