Going beyond chatbots to avatars: the next stage of AI for CX

Digital avatar will be programmed to recognise non-verbal behaviour in real-time using facial recognition

Artificial intelligence (AI) and emotional intelligence (EI) and how they can optimise the customer experience (CX) is the focus of an investment by Daimler Financial Services into New Zealand start-up, Soul Machines.

The undisclosed strategic investment in Soul Machines aims to further develop artificial and emotional intelligence for a multi-channel, customer-service pilot using an avatar 'Sarah' with facial recognition. Soul Machines is a leader in the field of emotional Intelligence for use in machines and digital avatars.

Soul Machines has created a number of avatars including Nadia, a virtual human voiced by Cate Blanchett that’s being trialled by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Nadia was designed to operate across multiple channels from the outset to create a consistent interaction for clients, with the face being just one representation. Another example of Soul Machines’ virtual humans in action is Sophie, a pilot customer interaction project for Air New Zealand.

“After successfully testing how artificial intelligence helps our employees better service customers, we are now investing in a disruptive technology to further enhance the customer experience,” CIO of Daimler Financial Services, Udo Neumann, said.

“Emotional intelligence will play a crucial role in adapting services, such as car financing, leasing and insurance, car-sharing or ride-hailing to customers. Different from today’s voice-based, assistance technology, our digital avatar ‘Sarah’ will be programmed to recognise non-verbal behaviour in real-time using face recognition.”

Daimler Financial Services and Soul Machines presented ‘Sarah’ in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Since then, 'Sarah' has been successful in answering most frequently asked customer questions during an internal pilot at one of the company’s call centres in the USA.

Daimler Financial Services plans to use Soul Machines' technology to optimise CX through artificial and emotional intelligence. 'Sarah' will be able to support customers like a personal concierge.

Using EI, the machine will be able to recognise the most diverse individual customer needs and offer the right information at the right time. For customers, this means communicating with a convenient, voice-controlled and emotionally intelligent touchpoint.

Benedikt Schell, chief experience officer at Daimler Financial Services, said customers expect intuitive, time-saving services that are available 24/7 through the channel that is most convenient for them.

“With the investment in Soul Machines we are laying an important foundation to not just meet, but exceed these customer expectations.”

Soul Machines is a New Zealand company founded in 2016, specialising in the space of digital avatars and emotional intelligence. The company creates life-like, emotionally responsive, artificial humans with personality and character that allows machines to talk to humans face-to-face.

“As we continue to lead the world in advanced AI technology and development of digital humans across a broad spectrum of industries, this strategic investment from Daimler Financial Services puts us in an even better position to quickly develop and test our disruptive technology in the automotive sector together with our great partner,” said Greg Cross, chief business officer of Soul Machines.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Red Agency YouGov Galaxy Report, February 2019 Predictors Study. https://redagency.com.au/re...

Vanessa Skye Mitchell

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

RIP holden

Max Polding

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in