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Retrieval-augmented generation and the enterprise helpdesk

Thu Apr 04 2024

3 mins read

Retrieval-augmented generation and the enterprise helpdesk
The enterprise helpdesk responsible for employee support is undergoing a huge transformation. The goal? To end the slow issue resolution (Mean Time To Resolve is almost 27hrs!), the increasing ticket volume and the growing costs. The incorporation of Generative AI in internal employee support across the enterprise yields tangible benefits. By adopting an AI enterprise helpdesk, companies can automate repetitive process, offer instant answers and resolve routine issues in seconds, significantly reducing ticket volume and costs. \ \ While generative AI tools gain popularity, the persistent issue of hallucinations - plausible sounding but incorrect responses to users’ queries - hinders their enterprise adoption. These misleading responses pose significant risks in critical business interactions. Enter retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), a technique that can reduce hallucinations, thus revolutionizing enterprise AI integration. It is favored in enterprise chatbots for its ability to integrate company-specific data, enhancing AI grounding. This approach has transformative potential across various sectors including workplace support, offering a competitive edge. ## Understanding retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) RAG is a sophisticated AI mechanism that enhances the functionality of LLMs by integrating a dynamic retrieval system. This system allows LLMs to access and utilize external, up-to-date data sources under specific instructions, thereby helping them generate more accurate and contextually aware responses. \ \ RAG combines two processes: retrieving relevant information from an extensive data source and generating a contextually enriched response based on this retrieved data. This is done thanks to two components: 1. **Information Retrieval**: The first step is to conduct a semantic search within a data source. When RAG receives a query, it utilizes advanced algorithms to navigate this source, identifying the most relevant data in relation to the query. The retrieval mechanism is designed to understand the semantic relationships between the query and the data source contents, ensuring that the data selected is contextually aligned with the query's intent. 2. **Natural Language Generation (NLG)**: The second phase involves NLG, where the LLM processes the retrieved data and generates an accurate response which integrates the retrieved information as well. This step is crucial as it ensures that the output is not just factually accurate but also linguistically coherent and contextually apt. Through these components, retrieval augmented generation significantly amplifies the capabilities of LLMs, especially for tasks requiring them to retrieve relevant information. By incorporating this retrieved information, RAG can produce more informed and contextually relevant outputs, reducing the likelihood of generating hallucinations or incorrect responses. This makes them invaluable tools in various enterprise applications where prompt and precise information is key. ## Why is RAG better for the AI-powered enterprise helpdesk? RAG blends text generation with information retrieval to enhance the accuracy and relevance of AI-generated content. This is particularly enticing for enterprise applications where up-to-date factual knowledge is crucial. Businesses can choose enterprise helpdesks that use RAG with foundation models to create more efficient and informative chatbots and virtual assistants. \ \ RAG is recommended for data that change periodically in small periods of time (dynamic data), and this is what makes it the most appropriate solution for the enterprise helpdesk. Using RAG, an AI helpdesk vendor can gather a ton of structured and unstructured company information, documents, etc., and feed it into a model without having to fine-tune or custom train it. A RAG-based AI helpdesk can generate company-specific answers from almost any external data source, without making any adjustment. ### Enhancing response accuracy and relevance Since company data continuously change, integrating RAG into the AI helpdesk ensures that responses to employee queries will never be outdated, generic or irrelevant. By incorporating contextual, real-time, company-specific information from a knowledge base, RAG mitigates the risk of generating misleading or incorrect responses, thus increasing reliability and improving employee support efficiency. RAG ensures LLMs use the most current data, vital for tasks requiring the latest information for decision-making. ### Scaling beyond fixed context windows RAG allows LLMs to access vast data pools beyond their fixed context windows, crucial for enterprises with large-scale, dynamic data. This enhances information processing and model scalability. ### Increased speed and reduced costs Bypassing the need to store all knowledge directly in the LLM also reduces model size, which increases speed and lowers costs. This means that RAG-based solutions can be more cost-efficient alternatives that also drive higher productivity. ## Challenges and considerations when implementing RAG in the enterprise helpdesk While retrieval-augmented generation offers significant benefits for the enterprise helpdesk, several challenges may arise when using this technique: - **Data quality**: RAG heavily relies on the quality and relevance of the data in the knowledge base. Inaccurate or outdated information can lead to incorrect responses, undermining the model’s effectiveness. Maintaining an updated knowledge base with high-quality content is crucial. - **Knowledge base size and coverage**: RAG's effectiveness depends on the knowledge base's size and coverage. Limited or incomplete knowledge bases may restrict the system's ability to retrieve relevant information, leading to suboptimal performance. - **Handling ambiguity and contextual understanding**: RAG may struggle with ambiguous queries or nuanced contextual understanding. Resolving ambiguity and accurately interpreting context remains a challenge, especially in complex or specialized domains. - **Ethical and privacy concerns**: Retrieving information from large datasets raises concerns regarding data privacy, security, and ethical considerations, especially when dealing with sensitive or proprietary information. ## Integrating RAG in the enterprise helpdesk for elevated functionality Integrating RAG in the AI-powered enterprise helpdesk significantly elevates its functionality, making it the most effective solution for employee support. It offers more accurate responses and allows for better-informed decision-making. Gaspar AI is such a solution. \ \ Our AI helpdesk platform integrates with various knowledge bases (such as Coda, Notion, Google Docs, Confluence and more) and uses RAG to search and retrieve relevant information. Thanks to advanced NLP it generates accurate, helpful, human-like responses, ensuring that the generated answers are contextually appropriate, reliable and tailored to the employee's needs. Our platform is characterized by reduced hallucinations when compared to others: RAG mitigates the risk of generating misleading or incorrect responses that could lead to user frustration or worse, wrong decisions. \ \ Using Gaspar AI improves the quality, reliability, and efficiency of employee support interactions, leading to higher user satisfaction and improved productivity for both employees and support staff. If you’d like to learn more, you can [book a free demo](