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News : Alipay’s Call Centers Using Smart Robots to Deal with Customers
Hangzhou, China, Sept 11, 2015 -- Alipay, a Chinese online third-party payment service provider under e-commerce provider Alibaba Group, has begun using smart robots at its call centers to deal with customers, signs of the increasing saturation of smart robots into daily life.
According to China Business News, the robots installed at Alipay's call centers can understand customers' speech and will become ever smarter as the robots have a learning ability that can match college graduates who had undergone several hours of training for the job.
The report said that an R&D team composed of a dozen members under Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, was responsible for the creation of the smart robots.
Currently, the robots' functions are limited to answering queries on credit lines and checking deposit balances and passwords, but they will eventually be extended to all call center services or even financial consulting, the report added.
At best, the smart robots are seen as a major improvement compared to existing robots in the market. These robots are advanced search engines that respond to customer inquiries from data centers based on keyword input of customers. However, the problem is that they often provide inadequate results.
Compared to existing robots that can only handle requests when formally phrased, the smart robots are capable of understanding casual expressions, deciphering the content of the customer's inquiry using contextual clues, and asking confirmation from the customer that they have correctly understood a query.
According to Ant Financial, the smart robots can respond to a query in a short time or in a second, compared to less sophisticated systems that have a 30-60-second wait time.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Alipay.com is a third-party online payment platform with no transaction fees. It was launched in China in 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma. According to analyst research report, Alipay has the biggest market share in China with 300 million users and control of just under half of China's online payment market in February 2014.
About Alibaba Group:
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals.
Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2015