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Building an AI classification model for GRC software

Anjali Sreekumar |

March 18, 2024
Building an AI classification model for GRC software


Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) transform how businesses identify and respond to customer needs through user intent classification — an increasingly vital process for providing quick and relevant resolutions, gaining actionable insights, and personalizing experiences across industries.

This article explores how enterprises can leverage AI-powered user intent classification to enhance customer satisfaction, boost operational efficiency, and make data-driven decisions. It also outlines key techniques like clustering algorithms for the initial exploration of potential user intents and classification algorithms for accurately categorizing queries into predefined intents.

Understanding AI classification

User intent classification, also known as customer intent classification or simply intent classification, is the process of automatically understanding the underlying goal or objective behind a user's message using AI and ML techniques. It uses both clustering and classification algorithms in different ways.

Both algorithms are two fundamental tools used in machine learning for understanding and organizing data. They serve different purposes but share the goal of extracting meaningful patterns and insights from large datasets.

Here's a breakdown of how both algorithms are used for user intent classification:


  • Unsupervised learning: Clustering algorithms excel in unsupervised learning, meaning they don't require pre-labeled data. That is valuable when dealing with unlabeled user queries where the intent is initially unknown. 
  • Grouping similar queries: Clustering algorithms also group user queries based on features like keywords, phrases, or past user behavior. These groups can reveal potential user intents that might not be explicitly stated. 
  • Initial exploration and hypothesis generation: Developers can gain insights into potential user intents and formulate hypotheses for further exploration by analyzing clusters.


  • Supervised learning: Classification algorithms thrive in supervised learning, where data is labeled with the desired categories (i.e., user intents). 
  • Identifying specific intents: Once the potential intents are identified through clustering, classification algorithms can be trained on labeled data to categorize new user queries into predefined intents. 
  • Improving accuracy and efficiency: With a well-trained classification model, user intent classification becomes more accurate and efficient, enabling systems to respond effectively to user needs.

Clustering helps discover potential user intents from unlabeled data, while classification takes over once intents are identified to categorize new user queries accurately. They work together to achieve an accurate and efficient user intent classification system.

In GRC, the uses of classification algorithms vary, but their two main applications are:

  • Data organization: Better data organization, which will assist in proactive monitoring, change tracking, and context identification  
  • Data anomaly detection: Faster analysis of large structured and unstructured data sets, which will assist in pattern detection, labeling, and predictive analysis.

Other applications in GRC include: 

  • classification of internal data for compliance monitoring 
  • detecting fraudulent actions 
  • document classification for context-based information retrieval 
  • risk assessment, classification, and management 
  • incident and support response generation

Let's take compliance management as an example. Organizations can use these algorithms to analyze employee communications and documents to help identify potential policy violations by classifying them into relevant categories. That can enable proactive measures to address compliance risks and promote ethical conduct.

Now that we've defined clustering and classification algorithms let's explore the benefits of using AI for user intent classification. 


What are its benefits?

For enterprises, AI-powered user intent classification offers a range of benefits that go beyond general user experience improvements:

Enhanced customer satisfaction

  • Faster resolution times: By accurately pinpointing user intent, AI systems can direct inquiries to the most fitting resources (e.g., FAQs, self-service portals, live agents), leading to quicker problem resolution and increased customer satisfaction. 
  • Reduced customer churn: Timely and accurate responses can prevent customer frustration and potentially reduce churn, positively impacting customer retention rates.

Increased operational efficiency

  • Cost savings: Deflecting routine inquiries to AI-powered systems frees up human agents' time for more complex cases, potentially leading to cost savings in customer service operations. 
  • Scalability: AI systems can efficiently handle large volumes of inquiries, allowing businesses to scale their support operations without significantly increasing personnel needs.

Competitive advantage

  • Proactive engagement: AI can identify potential customer issues and proactively offer solutions, fostering deeper customer engagement and loyalty. 
  • Data-driven decision-making: The insights gathered from user intent data can empower businesses to make data-driven decisions that enhance overall operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, informing product development, marketing strategies, and overall customer experience improvement efforts.

However, despite their benefits, using AI for user intent classification comes with challenges, which we will explore in the next section. 


What are its challenges?

Enterprises face several challenges when using AI for user intent classification:

  • Data quality and quantity: Training AI models for accurate intent classification requires large amounts of high-quality data labeled with the corresponding user intent. Gathering and labeling such data can be time-consuming, expensive, and resource-intensive for enterprises. 
  • Data bias and fairness: If the training data is biased towards certain user demographics or language styles, the AI model can inherit those biases and misinterpret user intent from under-represented groups. That can lead to unequal and unfair interactions with users. 
  • Ambiguity and complexity of language: Users often express themselves ambiguously using informal language, slang, or cultural references. This complexity can confuse AI models and lead to misinterpretations of user intent. 
  • Evolving user behavior and language: User language and behavior continuously evolve, requiring AI models to be updated and retrained to maintain accuracy. That can be computationally expensive and require ongoing resources.
  • Explainability and transparency: Understanding how AI models reach their conclusions regarding user intent can be difficult and opaque. This lack of explainability and transparency can hinder trust in the system and make it challenging to debug and improve the model. 
  • Integration with existing systems: Integrating AI-powered intent classification systems with existing enterprise workflows and platforms can be complex and require significant IT resources.

Overcoming these challenges requires careful planning, investment in data quality and infrastructure, and ongoing monitoring and improvement of the AI models. 


How to implement AI intent classification

Here's how enterprises can implement AI-powered user intent classification.

Define objectives and gather requirements.

Clearly define the specific goals for implementing AI-powered user intent classification, from improving customer service interactions to personalizing marketing campaigns or optimizing search results. In this phase, you must also collect relevant user data from various sources like customer support chats, emails, surveys, and website interactions.

LLMs can learn and incorporate contextual information from previous interactions and user history to better grasp the underlying intent behind a query. They can also be crucial as they excel at processing and comprehending complex and nuanced language, making them suitable for handling queries with various phrasings, slang, and cultural references.

Prepare and label your data.

Clean the collected data by removing noise, inconsistencies, and irrelevant details, and establish the data format and structure for efficient processing by the AI model. Then, label the prepared data with the corresponding user intent. Internal teams can do this manually or outsource it to specialized data labeling companies.

Train and improve your AI model.

Once objectives are set and data is labeled, consider using services suites such as Microsoft's Azure AI for model training. Begin by training it on labeled data with machine learning tools provided by Azure or other similar platforms. Assess performance against a validation set, leveraging available infrastructure. Adjust parameters using techniques like gradient descent.

Monitor performance and use available tools for refinement. Employ regularization and hyperparameter tuning for improved accuracy. Repeat until satisfied, utilizing resources for efficiency. Implement feedback loops for continual improvement, potentially supported by capabilities of platforms like Azure AI.

Integrate and deploy the trained model.

Integrate the trained model with your existing systems and applications to allow them to process user intent and respond accordingly. Then, deploy the model in a production environment, monitor its performance closely, track key metrics like accuracy and user satisfaction, and identify areas for further optimization.

Here are other considerations for implementing AI-powered user intent classification:

  • Start small and scale incrementally: Begin with a small-scale pilot project to test and refine your approach before full-scale deployment. 
  • Involve stakeholders: Ensure all relevant stakeholders, including developers, data scientists, and business users, are involved in the implementation process. 
  • Prioritize user privacy and security: Implement robust security measures and comply with data privacy regulations throughout the data collection, storage, and processing phases. 
  • Focus on continuous improvement: Monitor your AI model's performance and adjust it as needed to maintain high accuracy and user satisfaction. 


What are its future implications?

The future of using AI for user intent classification is promising and is expected to see advancements in several key areas.

Advanced NLP techniques will enable AI models to better understand the nuances of human language, such as sarcasm, humor, and cultural references, leading to more accurate interpretations of user intent. That will also make AI models more context-aware, taking into account factors like user history, previous interactions, and the overall context of the conversation to determine user intent more effectively.

Efforts towards developing more explainable AI models will also help build trust and transparency in how they reach their conclusions regarding user intent, allowing researchers and developers to focus on creating fair and unbiased AI models that avoid discrimination and ensure equal treatment for all users.

Easier-to-use pre-built tools and platforms will make AI-powered intent classification accessible to businesses, even those without extensive in-house technical expertise. Techniques like few-shot learning and transfer learning will reduce reliance on large amounts of labeled data, making training and deploying AI models easier and faster.

AI-powered user intent classification will help automate routine tasks based on identified intent, freeing human resources for more complex tasks. In turn, this allows enterprises to utilize user intent to personalize user experiences across various touchpoints, from product recommendations to customer service interactions.

Overall, the future of utilizing AI for user intent classification lies in greater accuracy, automation, and user personalization while addressing ethical concerns and fostering responsible AI development practices. It holds the potential to significantly improve user experiences and drive business growth across various sectors. 


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Anjali Sreekumar

Written by Anjali Sreekumar

With a PhD in automated tools for software engineering using natural language processing and machine learning, Anjali is an accomplished engineering manager with over 15 years of experience leading diverse teams to deliver top-tier technology solutions for mission-driven organizations. Anjali is skilled in initiating improvement efforts, team building, and swift issue resolution, with expertise spanning Windows and web-based applications, RESTful services, C#.NET, SQL Server, LINQ, Entity Framework, and more.