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Fujitsu Introduces AI-Driven Alternative to Human-Powered Call Centers

May 16, 2017

Call Centers, a major source of employment especially in developing countries, are the target of the new Digital Agent for Call Centers, created by Fujitsu Business Application Operational Data Management & Analytics.

The new application is a cloud service that uses AI to automatically respond in a chat-based format to queries from users calling in to call centers. Sales to corporate call centers will begin in Japan between June and September 2017.

The ODMA Digital Agent for Call Centers uses Fujitsu Human Centric AI Zinrai, Fujitsu's advanced-learning AI technologies, to load the FAQs and responses to queries accumulated within a company, thereby accurately understanding the input text of the query to find the correct answer. In addition, the system automatically learns natural conversation from conversation records, and incorporates the experience Fujitsu has developed regarding the proper grammar and manners to use when responding to inquiries, handling operations in such a way as to put users at ease.

Use of this service resolves issues facing call centers, including insufficient personnel and the growing cost of training, and it also significantly improves user convenience as answers are immediately available via chat, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

This service has been deployed on customer support lines at Fujitsu Client Computing Limited, which develops, manufactures and supports Fujitsu-brand PCs, and its operational launch is scheduled between June and September of this year.

This service will be exhibited at Fujitsu Forum 2017, to be held at Tokyo International Forum (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) on May 18-19.

Background

The call center industry faces chronic problems with personnel shortages, due to such reasons as high attrition rates among operators and difficulty in hiring. In addition, there are significant issues accompanying the increasing complexity of products and services, including long training times for operators and increasing training costs. For these reasons, expectations have been increasing for the use of technologies such as AI in supporting and increasing the efficiency of operator tasks.

In light of this situation, Fujitsu is offering the ODMA Digital Agent for Call Centers, an AI-powered automated chat-type response service, with the aim of resolving issues in call centers while simultaneously improving convenience for users.

Features of This Service

1. Highly accurate understanding of queries and optimal responses

This service recognizes the query text input by the user with high accuracy by using AI to study the FAQs and accumulated responses to questions within a company.

In addition, by incorporating task-oriented conversation technology from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., in which AI automatically studies smooth conversations from conversation histories, without preparing complicated conversational scenarios in advance, this system is capable of appropriately understanding spoken word input from users.

Moreover, when faced with ambiguous questions from users or queries using general terminology, the AI has technology developed to seek clarification to correctly understand the intent of the user's question, leading to optimal answers.

As a result, in an internal trial, the probability that the correct answer to a question posed by AI was within the top five answers was over 80%.

2. Capable of natural conversation outside of questions and answers

This system is capable of flexibly responding in conversational small talk that differs from the FAQs and query responses it was trained on, so users will feel as if they are in a natural conversation.

3. Reflects the conversational experience of operators

By incorporating the customer support experience and ways of speaking developed by experienced operators, through the cooperation of Fujitsu Client Computing, which provides support for Fujitsu-brand PCs, this system provides a conversational experience that puts users at ease.

The AI technologies provided with ODMA Digital Agent for Call Centers will also be provided as the APIs "Communications bot" and "FAQ search," through Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Zinrai Platform Service.

Sales Target

250 companies by the end of fiscal 2020 (Fujitsu's fiscal year ends March 31).

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