TNS’ AI Labs will help enterprises and carriers target robocalls

Nov. 13, 2023
The new initiative, which targets carriers and enterprises, focuses on AI tools that the company says can help combat increasingly sophisticated robocall threats.

Transaction Network Services (TNS) has launched AI Labs to help its carrier and enterprise customers leverage advanced artificial intelligence technologies to analyze call traffic activity through voice biometrics. It will also enable service providers to protect consumers from the growing use of nefarious AI voice cloning robocalls by bad actors.

This new platform builds on TNS’ Communications Market division's three decades of experience in call analytics and management technologies to support carriers and enterprises through its TNS Call Guardian® product and, more recently, TNS Enterprise Branded Calling and TNS Enterprise Authentication.

The AI Labs team will operate across TNS’ global offices in the US and India. Greg Bohl, TNS Communications Market Chief Data Officer, will oversee the initiative, with TNS Communications Market Sr. Director Dr. Ananth Iyer is leading the global AI operations, and Director of AI Research Dr. Sanjay Saini is leading India operations. Bohl has over 30 years of experience ranging from AI in data-driven industries to founding AI start-ups. He regularly shares guidance on the subject, most recently at an FCC workshop and SIPNOC.

AI Labs will research how AI can be leveraged for future use in the telecom industry, with an early-stage focus on generative, predictive and discriminative AI applications that include:

AI-powered voice biometrics: Voice biometrics uses real-time AI to determine whether the voice on the other end of an incoming call is synthetic (a robocall) or not (a legitimate call). It acts as a call screener by analyzing callers' voice, tone and diction to determine whether the agent is real or a bad actor deploying AI for nefarious intent.

Predictive AI-powered call analytics: TNS will seek to grow the use of predictive algorithms for TNS’ Call Guardian call analytics platform and the 1.5 billion daily call events TNS analyzes across hundreds of carrier networks to understand bad actors’ robocall patterns better.

Generative AI demonstrations: Understanding how voice replication works is critical to combating the ease with which scammers can clone voices using AI. AI Labs offers an environment to experience first-hand how generative AI can be used for legitimate and nefarious purposes.

AI SMS detection: TNS will employ AI models to detect and help prevent machine generated text messages from reaching the intended recipient, which plagues consumers messaging services today. These features will be incorporated into its spam detection products.

AI Labs plans to host a series of demo days during which essential TNS carrier and enterprise customers, policymakers, regulators and other industry stakeholders can tour the labs to observe and experience AI applications in development.

“As advanced robocall scams proliferate, there is a critical need across the telecom ecosystem for research and development that keeps our industry ahead of bad actors,” Bohl said. “We believe AI Labs will play a leading role in broader efforts to integrate AI into ongoing and future robocall prevention measures such as STIR/SHAKEN, advanced call analytics and other rigorous enforcement measures to protect consumers.”

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