Fujitsu Laboratories has developed technology that can be easily set up and autonomously carry on a dialogue, based on artificial intelligence technology, while accurately understanding a user’s request and naturally eliciting the necessary information. The technology is intended primarily for customer service support.
With previous technology, dialogue with computers required preparations of dialogue scenarios laying out how to respond when certain things are said, and business systems usually operated based on these scenarios.
Now Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a new technology that can structurally extract the relationships between word meanings of input text to deal with the multiple meanings, ambiguity and other problems particular to Japanese language expressions, enabling a highly accurate understanding of users’ speech and realizing smooth dialogue.
In addition, by properly incorporating information from external databases, such as linked open data (LOD), while also using a knowledge-based dialogue creation technology that automatically learns response options for natural dialogue from records, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed technology that can autonomously conduct dialogue.
Through these technologies, information service providers can quickly implement a system that suggests recommended products and service plans through a natural dialogue user interface, without preparing complicated scenarios based on their services ahead of time.
These technologies use Fujitsu Limited’s AI technology, Human Centric AI Zinrai.
Currently, messaging applications for users to conduct dialogue with a system are becoming familiar as a method of communication on smartphones.
In order to apply this, there have been a number of public APIs for these message applications to let users converse with systems, and there are increasing expectations that dialogue systems will be implemented for a variety of services.
With previous technology, in order to have a dialogue with a computer, it was necessary to prepare dialogue scenarios laying out how to respond when certain things are said, and business systems usually operated based on these scenarios.
For these types of scenarios it was necessary to record expected user statements in advance, and so it took a long time to build and implement dialogue systems – not only because it was necessary to also think of scenarios to return the dialogue to its goal if the user made an off-topic statement, but also because it was necessary to prepare these scenarios for each task or service.
Now Fujitsu Laboratories has developed task-oriented dialogue technology that can elicit desired information through an autonomous dialogue with the user, without preparing the complicated scenarios that were necessary with previous systems, and which can suggest recommended products and service plans.
Using these technologies, in an evaluation trial based on a travel business, this system was able to greatly improve its recognition rate, from 67% to 91%, in extracting the travel destination compared with previous keyword methods, providing a smoothly flowing conversation.
Knowledge-based dialogue creation technology
When executing such tasks as promoting products or suggesting service plans, there is a tendency to use dialogue scenarios that blandly ask about the information necessary for the task. With this newly developed knowledge-based dialogue creation technology, however, it is possible to appropriately include tens of millions of data points of information using external databases, such as LOD, which makes it easy to build a natural and friendly dialogue system.
Fujitsu Laboratories also used automated learning, which makes it possible to build a system that can hold smooth and natural conversations without creating complicated scenarios.
Fujitsu Laboratories carried out a field trial of these technologies on certain customer support tasks of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, demonstrating that they can respond correctly during a natural dialogue.
These technologies eliminate the need to prepare scenarios for each service, so it is now possible to quickly and easily add a dialogue user interface to a variety of services, and it can be expected they will be used in a variety of services. Users can also expect that, because they will be able to access these services through the messaging applications they are used to using, ICT services will become even more convenient and familiar.
Fujitsu Laboratories will move forward on validation trials of this technology, and aims to implement it in Fujitsu Limited’s solutions in fiscal 2016. Moreover, Fujitsu Laboratories will work to expand the applicable areas for these technologies to a broad variety of services, such as customer service, sales, call centres and virtual assistants, as new AI technologies for Zinrai’s decision making and support functions.
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