About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]


MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

US bank’s wild idea to combat call center burnout utilizes AI, weirds out the internet

Artificial intelligence (AI) taking over workers’ jobs is not new, but its application in preventing staff burnout marks a novel development in workplace wellness. First Horizon Bank has embarked on an innovative trial to alleviate the stress of its call center agents by leveraging AI technology in a creative and human-centered manner. This trial, utilizing Cisco’s Webex Contact Center AI model, presents agents with photos of family members, vacations, animals, or other cherished memories, accompanied by their favorite music, during stressful moments. This unique intervention, known as “Thrive Reset,” aims to reduce stress levels and prevent burnout among employees.

Long queue times and difficult conversations are common in call centers, often leading to frayed tempers and elevated stress levels. The repetitive nature of these interactions can take a significant toll on agents. To address this, First Horizon Bank has implemented the Thrive Reset program, designed to help employees manage their stress and remain energized throughout their shifts. When an agent reaches a stress threshold, the AI model detects it and triggers a personalized Thrive Reset, providing a brief moment of calm with meaningful images and memories. During this time, the call is seamlessly transferred to the next available agent, minimizing customer frustration and maintaining service quality.

Bank in the U.S. utilizes AI to combat call center burnout

Jason O’Dell, Vice President for Voice Services at First Horizon, emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “When Cisco Webex came to us to talk to us about being part of this wellness program, we were all in on this. This is exactly what we need to do to get our agents into a state in which they feel that we’re involved in making sure that they’re satisfied and happy with their work environment.” O’Dell’s comments highlight the bank’s commitment to agent wellness and its proactive approach to preventing burnout in an industry known for high-stress levels and frequent staff turnover.

The initial trials of the Thrive Reset program have yielded promising results. First Horizon Bank reported double-digit reductions in burnout levels among its call center agents. Additionally, some employees expressed a preference for these short, personalized resets over traditional breaks, although they noted that the resets would be more effective if they lasted longer than the current 60 seconds. Interestingly, customer satisfaction scores also improved during the trial period, suggesting that the program not only benefits employees but also enhances the overall customer experience.

The deployment of AI in this context might seem unusual, even dystopian to some, as indicated by a Twitter post from @bcmerchant: “Last week, I read about one of the bleakest uses for gen AI I’ve seen yet: First Horizon Bank is rolling out a system to detect when a call center worker was on the brink of ‘losing it’—and play them an AI-made montage of family photos set to their favorite song to calm them down.” Despite initial skepticism, the Thrive Reset program demonstrates a successful integration of AI technology to address human needs in the workplace. By focusing on employee well-being, First Horizon Bank is pioneering a new approach to managing stress and burnout in high-pressure environments.

This “solution” has creeped out many social media users, saying it could not be of any help to the employees.

comments about the bank's solution comments about the bank's solution

First Horizon Bank’s implementation of the Cisco Webex Contact Center AI model showcases an innovative use of technology to support employee mental health and improve job satisfaction. The Thrive Reset program represents a significant step forward in corporate wellness initiatives, offering a practical solution to the pervasive issue of call center agent burnout. As businesses continue to explore the potential of AI, First Horizon Bank’s approach serves as a compelling example of how technology can be harnessed to create a more supportive and sustainable work environment.

Despite the company’s good intentions, many people tend to question: Is this a problem AI can fix? With the possible loopholes and privacy concerns raised by AI nowadays, offering a “video montage” may not be the best way to calm a burned-out employee. It’s a strange approach, we must admit, but who knows? Maybe, just maybe, it could work in one way or another.

Other POP! stories that you might like: 

AI company behind diss track ‘BBL Drizzy’ gets sued by major record labels

Chinese teenager emerges as ‘dark horse,’ defeats AI and elite students in Math contest

Swiss court convicts ‘richest family’ in UK over exploiting servants in luxury villa

Paramount pulls the plug: MTV News and its archives go dark

Int’l news anchor’s sharp commentary on China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea wins PH internet

About Author

Related Stories

Popping on POP!