RSDC Employee Spotlight

Andrew O’Laughlin | Software Developer


Andrew O’Laughlin’s career in Artificial Intelligence (AI) software development with RSDC began in a movie theater in 1991, the day he saw Terminator II.  Like many kids at the time, the idea of AI, with all of its potential, stuck with him. The fascination, the ability to apply the many applications of AI technology, and five years in the United States Navy made a partnership with RSDC a natural fit. 

After leaving the Navy, with an interest in marine organisms, O’Laughlin completed a degree in biology and computer science. Following his graduation, he earned a position on the RSDC team, where his military experience and skill in programming made him an excellent fit. With an ergonomic work station designed specifically for him to accommodate an injury suffered during Navy Seal training, O’Laughlin spent over a year assisting with various projects. During that time, he found a true passion for technology. With the support of his RSDC family behind him, he put his career on pause to pursue additional education in computational engineering.  

Now back at RSDC, O’Laughlin is a member of the team using AI to redesign the helpdesk experience of customers of a vital agency that provides materials and services to the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, ten combatant commands, federal facilities, and partnered and allied nations worldwide. This project is well on its way to streamline the agency’s operations in massive ways, positively affecting both the ability to serve their customers.

With more than 80,000 inquiries coming in to the call center, a great deal of time and employee focus is dedicated to answering basic questions. Rather than software that uses a branching decision tree, which can result in response loops and customer frustration, RSDC has partnered with Amelia to utilize AI for tier one help desk inquiries. The result is a human-like interaction and rapid access the information needed. With the ability to connect disparate segments of data across the entirety of the organization, and learn the patterns of inquiries as the software runs, the new help desk is on track to accept the majority of calls in the coming year, freeing up call center employees to do what they do best: think critically and creatively. 

Through his time in the Navy, O’Laughlin had had personal experience with the old system and understood both its limitations and the impact on the missions that depended on it. With the mindset of the end user, he now trains the software to respond effectively to the caller’s needs. The task is monumental, not only due to the volume of inquiry types and data involved, but because this is the very first application of AI in the federal government. It is truly a groundbreaking mission. “I like building things from the ground up,” O’Laughlin said. “I love the puzzle at the beginning – the requirements, the challenges, and the obstacles – and creating something that’s simple and easy to use, that meets all of the requirements, and that will continue to be of value for years to come. That’s what we do here. Our work helps thousands of people worldwide do their jobs better, helps them be safer, helps them fulfill their missions. We never lose sight of that.” 

Ready to explore a partnership with Andrew and the RSDC team? Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!

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