EZ Reader: Embedded AI for Automatic Electronic Mail Interpretation and Routing

Amy Rice, Julie Hsu, Anthony Angotti, Rosanna Piccolo

EZ Reader is an intelligent electronic mail (email) reader that employs a unique combination of rule-based parsing and case-based reasoning to automatically and with a high level of accuracy classify and respond to large volumes of incoming email. EZ Reader reduces the time and human resources required to handle incoming email by selecting responses and adding attachments and advice to each incoming message based on how previous similar messages were handled. The application, developed for Chase Manhattan Bank using Brightware, Inc.’s ART*Enterprise tool, answers emails automatically and decreases processing time for those requiring manual review. Phase I of EZ Reader was deployed in the first quarter of 1996, and handles up to 80% of incoming mail automatically, depending on message content. Later phases will enable automatic processing of a wider variety of messages. By dramatically reducing the effort associated with manual processing, EZ Reader will pay its own development costs within six months and will result in substantial, recurring dollar savings each year. This paper describes EZ Reader in detail, including its AI-based design, testing, implementation and development history.

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