Automating mail classification with the help of AI

Digital Business Strategy

How do you liberate employees from dulling tasks, such as forwarding emails to the right receiver? We used machine learning to develop a mail classification system for SD Worx, so they can save hours of work.

Belgian HR service provider SD Worx is active in 10 countries across Europe. Daily a lot of time is spent dispatching incoming client emails. These emails need to be distributed across different departments each responsible for their own topics.

A lot of manual work is involved in the distribution of those emails. To simplify that process and allow employees to free up time to perform other important tasks, we developed a mail classifier that uses artificial intelligence.

Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) we have a technology that is able to read emails and understand what the content is. In a nutshell, NLP makes it possible to train a model by feeding it text data until it understands what’s written.

SD Worx provided us with thousands of labeled mails, which we used to train the model. It returns a prediction for each email that gets fed into it, which is then used to forward the email to its respective destination. Because the company receives emails in both Dutch and French, we had to use a model architecture that was capable of handling these two languages. If you want to know more about the multilingual side of this project, feel free to read our technical blogpost about the topic.

The result is a REST API that SD Worx can plug into its general inboxes. Our current algorithm is able to correctly classify ¾ of the incoming mails, leaving a lot more time to focus on the real thing: helping customers. In the future we want to implement a feedback loop in this process that allows the algorithm to learn from its mistakes, so we can potentially improve its performance along the way.

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