News : Made-in-Vietnam Chat Bot Set to Replace Human Customer Service Workers
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Aug 22, 2016 -- A group of dedicated Vietnamese developers are looking to reinvent customer service by replacing human representatives with Hana, an artificial intelligence program with the ability to understand and answer questions posed by customers in human language.
"Hi," a student said on an online admissions webpage of a university.
"Hi! What can I do to help you?" an admissions counselor replied through a chat window, vocalizing the answer using a female voice.
"What subjects are available at the school?" the student asked.
"Our school educates students in chemistry, biology, and information technology..."
The conversation continued, with question after question from the student about scores, tuition, admissions percentage, facilities, and faculty members.
The admissions counselor answered the questions smoothly, without hesitation.
The admissions counselor of course is an artificial intelligence program, or chat bot.
For the last year, Nguyen Minh Kien, who quit his job as a senior manager at a large tech firm in order to pursue his passion, has been working on Hana, an intelligent customer service answering program, with his colleagues in a small apartment on Dao Duy Anh Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City.
"The world is beginning to use artificial intelligence, but this is a new field in Vietnam. We have a great foundation, which are the group members who have expertise in and passion for artificial intelligence. When we saw that businesses have a demand for programs like ours, we began to develop Hana. Our dream is not only to help domestic businesses but also businesses in Southeast Asia, South Korea, and Japan," Kien revealed.
When a company wants to use Hana, Kien and his colleagues will work with the business to create a list of frequently asked questions from customers and the correct answers to those questions.
The list, which usually includes around a few hundred questions and answers, is then used to train Hana.
The program will then process customer questions through speech or text messages and answer those questions based on the list provided.
The developers also say that Hana is only a generic name, which can be changed by businesses depending on their needs.
"A survey shows that 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm everyday is the time when the highest number of people is accessing the Internet. However, by this time, most employees have left the office. This is one reason Hana has been created: to help businesses provide 24/7 customer support," Hieu said.
"This artificial intelligence product will help Vietnamese businesses meet their customers needs and cut prices. Furthermore, this product can also applied to education, product manuals, and other services, so it has a very high level of application," Vu Tuan Anh said, Startup Community Project Manager at Hoa Sen Group.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2016