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Virtually Speaking

More Than a Pretty Face

Posted by Jen Snell on Apr 19, 2012 3:31:47 PM


A recent blog post by a local tech writer compared the Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology that is behind Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) like Ann at Aetna or Jenn at Alaska to the hologram technology used to resurrect Tupac for Coachella. The comparison sheds light on the reality that people – tech writers included – still do not understand that conversational NLP technologies in the form of IVAs are more than a voice, face and search. Could anyone at Coachella have a conversation with Holo-pac?  No. Or would the same comparison be made of Siri? Siri doesn’t have a face, so probably not.

In order to achieve a great user experience, IVAs for businesses are usually equipped with a tailored ‘persona’ – or look and feel. The implementation of the IVA presents an incredible array of opportunities for expressing the character of a brand as well as delivering benefits for businesses and end-users.

Holo-pac was created with lighting and imagery; if only it was this simple to enable Ann to answer the status of my daughter’s claim or Jenn to book my flight, and then change my flight.

I’m sure there will be many spin-offs of the Tupac hologram, and it would be great if they contained the same NLP technology that powers IVAs like Ann or Jenn, so that adoring fans can strike up a real conversation with the hologram.  Maybe I should call up Dr. Dre with this very proposition.

Topics: Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), Natural Language Processing, Technology