BLOG: Shifting the dialogue beyond business

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Danny Tomsett, CEO FaceMe. Marie Johnson, Centre for Digital Business.

“Artificial Intelligence will be central to solving humanity's grand challenges. Solutions to pressing problems related to health and wellbeing, education, energy, environment, and other domains can be found by capitalising on the unprecedented quantities of data and recent progress in emerging AI technologies.”

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NEWS: I can’t be in three places at once: but cloned banker shows you can

 Source: The Times UK

Source: The Times UK

The Times, London, has featured FaceMe’s Digital Human for UBS bank.

UBS clients will be able to call up a video image of Daniel Kalt, which has been programmed to answer questions that the real Mr Kalt has schooled it to deliver.

The clone has been hailed as a development that could redefine the delivery of advice and the future of work itself. It is believed to be the first time that a global bank has offered an avatar of a top executive to clients.

UBS used Face Me, a New Zealand artificial intelligence company, with IBM to build the digital clone. It was created after images of Mr Kalt’s head were recorded for half a day, using more than 120 high-definition professional cameras on a special scanning rig. The digital rendering is of such detail that some clients might think that they are looking at a video of a real person on a conference call, although the experience is designed not to deceive them.

Read the full article here.

NEWS: Robot investment advice arrives using New Zealand technology

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NewsHub has featured FaceMe’s Digital Human platform, used most recently for UBS bank.

The age of so-called 'robot investment advice' is here with a Swiss bank using Kiwi technology to roll out a digital financial adviser.

And it's not just any human. The bank's chief economist, Daniel Kalt, has been copied so he can be called to offer his opinion to wealthy clients, wherever they are in the world.

The Swiss bank is offering the avatar  - developed by Kiwi company FaceMe  - to clients who come in for a consultation.

Click here to play the full feature.

NEWS: Swiss bank digitally ‘clones’ chief economist

The NY Post has featured a FaceMe designed Digital Human for UBS bank.

It’s the perfect employee.

A Swiss investment bank has digitally cloned its chief economist — so he can help multiple clients with urgent questions, all at the same time.

UBS is offering the avatar of Daniel Kalt to 100 clients at its branch in central Zurich, as part of a trial run for a project known as UBS Companion, according to reports.

The digital likeness was created after taking pictures of Kalt’s head in a half-day-long photoshoot using 120 HD cameras on a special scanning rig, the Australian Financial Review reported.

FaceMe, an artificial intelligence company, built the igital vatar for UBS using IBM technology.

Read the full story here.

NEWS: UBS digitally cloned its chief economist so he wouldn't miss his meetings

 Source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Fortune magazine has featured a FaceMe designed Digital Human for UBS bank.

UBS Chief Economist Daniel Kalt is in very high demand. So, the Swiss investment bank decided to clone him, digitally at least. Now through a rendering captured by more than 120 high-definition cameras in over a full day of shooting, the company can have Kalt (or at least his likeness) meet with multiple clients at a time via interactive video chat, without ever even stepping foot in the conference room.

New Zealand artificial intelligence expert FaceMe was hired to create the interactive avatar of Kalt that will meet with clients via television screen. UBS told the Financial Review that the project, called UBS Companion, is about “trying to find the best possible combination of human and digital touch.”

The Kalt clone will meet with 100 clients in the Bellevue branch in central Zurich in the near future. 

Read the full story here.

CASE STUDY: Meet Daniel Kalt, the ‘digital double’ of Daniel Kalt, Regional Chief Investment Officer Switzerland

 Screenshot: UBS site 

Screenshot: UBS site 

For its exploration of Human Digital Assistants, UBS partnered with IBM and FaceMe to develop the avatars and the technology supporting them.

How might we enrich client meetings through digital assistants in a meaningful and differentiating way?

UBS is currently exploring the use of human digital assistants to help clients and client advisors find solutions on the spot. Client advisors in Wealth Management Switzerland have started the experiment "UBS Companion" with two newly developed avatars: "Daniel Kalt", a digital version of UBS Regional Chief Investment Officer Switzerland and "Fin", a friendly helper and digital assistant. The avatars, which can interact via voice and eye contact with clients, are being deployed to client meetings via a TV screen. The aim is to explore how to create a new frictionless access to UBS's expertise for clients and to test the use of digital assistants in a wealth management context.

See Daniel Kalt in action – visit the UBS site and watch the video.

Information courtesy of UBS

NEWS: UBS creates digital clone of its chief economist

 USB interacting with their new AI assistant Dani

USB interacting with their new AI assistant Dani

The Australian Financial Review features FaceMe’s work for UBS.

It's a move that could redefine the delivery of advice and the future of work itself: UBS has created a digital clone of its Swiss chief economist, Daniel Kalt. 

It could be the first time any global bank has created an avatar of a staff member to put before clients to answer their questions. 

UBS has trained 10 advisors in its Bellevue branch in central Zurich, to use the digital semblance of Mr Kalt, who will soon be put it in front of 100 clients in the private bank. 

"In the future, we could see UBS advisers in thousands of different rooms, all with Daniel Kalt available as a digital human," said Mark Fitzgerald, the director of government and enterprise at FaceMe, the New Zealand-based AI company that built the avatar for UBS with IBM. 

Read the full story here.

FILM: FaceMe featured in the NZ Story Group’s ‘Ingenuity film’

New Zealand already has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding natural beauty but that’s only a small part of the story. Our nation is filled with artists, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators whose stories are just as awe inspiring as our landscapes. These are New Zealand’s inside stories. This film in the New Zealand Inside Stories series highlights one of New Zealand’s key values – ingenuity. Sit back pour yourself a cuppa!

Watch it below (FaceMe tech is featured at 2:16):

You can also watch it here

MEDIA: Creating compelling customer experience by adding a human touch to digital interactions

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IBM has published a case study on FaceMe’s Digital Humans.

Customers love the speed and convenience of digital channels, but the absence of personal interactions makes it harder for businesses to differentiate themselves. FaceMe uses IBM technologies to create lifelike Digital Humans who respond to spoken inquiries in a natural way – providing help, advice and the all-important “human” touch.”

Analysts estimate that, within ten years, 85 percent of interactions between businesses and their customers will happen through digital channels. While these channels offer speed and convenience at low cost, substituting a digital interaction for a personal one creates a less differentiated customer experience. And with 73 percent of customers ranking quality of experience alongside price and service as a key influencer of brand loyalty, can businesses really afford to give up the opportunity to stand out from their competitors? The stakes are high: churn and revenue loss are the natural consequences of poor customer experience.

What if there were a way to bring the human element into digital interfaces to create compelling interactions? To personalize the digital customer relationship experience at scale? These questions prompted Danny Tomsett, Founder and CEO of FaceMe, to imagine how the positive impact of face-to-face communications in sales could be integrated into digital channels.

“Ultimately, people embody a brand’s values, and the emotional connection with people creates engagement and loyalty,” Tomsett explains. “We believe customer experience is the new currency. By enabling companies to understand emotions, express empathy and converse naturally over digital channels, we aim to help them boost the value of those experiences.”

Drawing on its deep expertise in fields such as computer vision, emotional understanding and real-time animation, FaceMe envisioned an exceptionally ambitious idea: to create realistic, three-dimensional Digital Humans who can understand spoken language, process visual cues about the speaker’s mood, assess the customer’s needs, and respond in a natural way with appropriate facial expressions.

Read the full case study here.

MEDIA RELEASE: FaceMe wins $100 000 investment in Silicon Valley tech competition

 Prizegiving at Launch Festival, Sydney.

Prizegiving at Launch Festival, Sydney.

FaceMe believes digital humans are the future of customer service – and the judges at LAUNCH Festival Sydney agree, on Wednesday awarding  FaceMe ‘Best in category’ and $100 000 in investment as well as an opportunity to participate in the Launch Incubator programme in San Francisco.

LAUNCH Festival has been hosted in Silicon Valley, San Francisco annually for over a decade, attracting 15 000 attendees. This week, the event made its international debut in Sydney, Australia.

TV: Tech Biz, Sky News, features FaceMe’s Sophie

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FaceMe's Sophie has made Sky News in Australia. 

FaceMe, creators of the first human-like interface powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to be used in Australasian banking, was at CEBIT 2018  to showcase digital humans. FaceMe believes digital humans are the future of banking, and we had Sky News’ Chris Griffiths visit our stand to cover the action.

Watch the full segment from 9:30 onwards here

MEDIA RELEASE: Digital humans will be showcased in Sydney at CEBIT 2018

FaceMe, creators of the first human-like interface powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to be used in Australasian banking, will be at CEBIT 2018 from15-18 May to showcase digital humans. FaceMe, who believes digital humans are the future of banking, will have a stand that enables 15 000 attendees of APAC’s largest and longest running B2B technology exhibition to interact with what they call a ‘Digital Assistant’.

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60% of financial institutions are currently investing in robotics; and AI will be a $52 billion market by 2021. But now that we’ve gone digital, what will influence customer loyalty? “The future of banking will be about experience and not products,” believes Danny Tomsett, CEO of FaceMe. The company’s vision for banking is to “make digital banking more human” via its artificially intelligent Digital Assistant platform. 

71% of financial institutions believe that AI is capable of becoming the face of their brand. At CEBIT, FaceMe will showcase their technology at a kiosk set up for attendees to have a chat with their Digital Assistant Sophie. They will be able to interact with the Digital Assistant about a loan for something special; or even just to ask them about themselves (including their ability to recite poetry!).

In the USA earlier this month, one of FaceMe’s AI-powered Digital Assistants led the keynote speaker at a national Fintech conference through an interactive personal banking experience. The Digital Assistant demonstrated recognition and knowing the customer; showing value and individualisation and complete natural language understanding – as natural, infact, as talking to your bank manager – except this one is available 24/7 across any channel.

Nick Sokolich, VP Sales at FaceMe, adds: “The fintech revolution is here, and the way in which clients manage, spend, invest, share and borrow money has well and truly gone digital. But as much as this standardisation represents progress, it also represents risk. If everyone has gone digital – and if every conversation we have is digital – how do we differentiate or influence the customer experience? Businesses need to ask themselves: can our platforms be friendly? Can our platforms provide a unique, personalised service? Can our platform smile?”

To date, FaceMe has brought this experience to life over mobile, browser, phone and kiosk; and has been working with early adopters including market leaders across banking, Government and telecommunications.

 

NEWS: AI Forum report: Only 10% of jobs will be lost to AI

  CEO Danny Tomsett being interviewed by Newshub reporter

CEO Danny Tomsett being interviewed by Newshub reporter

FaceMe is riding that AI wave - building digital humans for telecommunications companies, governments and banks.

"When we first started there was a lot of curiosity and as people interacted, we started seeing that this experience started creating things like happy emotions and excitement and fun," said the company's CEO, Danny Tomsett.

Read the full article and watch the video here.

MEDIA RELEASE: FaceMe’s CEO will speak at IBM Think 2018

30 April 2018

Could Digital Employees be the future of banking?

The theme for IBM’s Think Australia and Think New Zealand this year is “Where technology meets humanity”. The events will “celebrate and elevate the ideas that will change not only the world of business, but the world at large.” One of these ideas, presented by FaceMe and ASB Bank, is the idea that digital employees could change banking as we know it today.

 
  Danny Tomsett, CEO of FaceMe

Danny Tomsett, CEO of FaceMe

“By 2020, customers will manage 85 per cent of their business relationships without interacting with a human. But with a large portion of companies focusing on standardisation FaceMe believes individualisation and a company’s ability to make digital conversations more human will differentiate companies in the future,” believes Danny Tomsett, CEO of Artificial Intelligence company FaceMe.

At Think, Danny will discuss FaceMe’s belief that customer experience will be the currency of the future. In the USA earlier this month, one of FaceMe’s AI-powered Digital Employees led a customer through an interactive loan application process. This Digital Employee demonstrated recognition and knowing the customer; showing value and individualisation and complete natural language understanding – as natural, infact, as talking to your bank manager – except this one is available 24/7 across any channel.

At the NZ tech event, ASB’s Leigh Angus, Head of Innovation and Commercialisation at ASB, and Danny Tomsett, CEO of FaceMe, will share about the “Josie experiment”. Josie is ASB’s digital assistant designed to help their teams support small-to-medium (SME) NZ business owners. Together Leigh and Danny will, on stage, have a “conversation” with Josie, including asking her about her role at ASB.

Josie was the first human-like interface powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to be used in Australasian banking and was created through a partnership between ASB and FaceMe. She was designed to assist SME business owners when setting up a business.

“Digital Employees represent the future of banking,” believes Danny. “The fintech revolution is here, and the way in which clients manage, spend, invest, share and borrow money has well and truly gone digital. But as much as this standardisation represents progress, it also represents risk. If everyone has gone digital – and if every conversation we have is digital – how do we differentiate or influence the customer experience? We believe the answer is in humanising digital conversations.”

“Experience is everything, and to get it right, we’ll need to capture the best human qualities and integrate these with digital. Having all the bells and whistles on a digital platform doesn’t matter as much to today’s consumer as the ability to deliver a friendly service, unique experience, and personalisation – in a manner that is convenient; knowledgeable and efficient (PWC, USA). Businesses need to ask themselves: can our platforms be friendly? Can our platforms provide a unique, personalised service? Can our platform smile?”

“Today’s customers expect to be able to use their voices in the comfort of their homes to request assistance. The future could see this extended to stores where digital employees will make the need to queue obsolete. They will use biometrics to identify customers and a memory of each past interaction to personalise future ones,” says Danny.

“Meeting consumers’ expectations is far more complex today than ever before; but there’s still huge strategic importance in customer experience and its impact on company culture, revenue growth and churn. It’s at the intersection of these two realities that there is a powerful opportunity to innovate,” concludes Danny.

“Digital Employees offer an empathetic, human-like interface which provides answers, handles requests, supplies information or simply connects clients to a key person across any and all channels, day or night. In short: the perfect employees and FaceMe can enable any organisation with a digital team to make this experience a reality.”

To date, FaceMe has brought this experience to life over mobile, browser, phone and kiosk; and has pilot customers across banking, Government and telecommunications.

Watch our About FaceMe video here

 

NEWS: Digital officer backs up the human side of Auckland airport biosecurity

Westpac’s Innovation Fund supported the development of Vai for MPI, while FaceMe, a New Zealand-based company specialising in AI, developed the technology.

Vai was built using FaceMe’s digital employee platform which offers companies customised Digital Employees, and with training, these ‘employees’ can offer personalised service using natural language.

FaceMe’s avatar technology uses biometrics to learn human interactions and will interact accordingly to ease the customer’s experience.
 
“Digital Employees also learn from every past interaction to sharpen and perfect their skills,” says FaceMe CEO and winner of the Sir Richard Branson Virgin Business challenge, Danny Tomsett.

“Vai is highly conversational and has been trained through every interaction, as well as data available on the website. She embodies the AI experience with human like qualities, including a friendly personality and emotional understanding.

“Nothing can replace real human interaction and relationships but Vai frees up our officers’ time so they can deal with the really important aspects of their role.”

Read the full article here

NEWS: Auckland airport testing AI avatar services

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“New Zealand’s Auckland Airport is testing the use of an onscreen avatar to answer biosecurity questions from travellers in a bid to reduce the workload of airport officials,” writes Aaron Tan in an article for Computer Weekly.

“Dubbed Virtual Assistant Interface (Vai), the artificial intelligence (AI) powered avatar offers answers to common questions such as what food items need to be declared for inspection, as well as directions around the airport.”

The idea is for Vai to take some of the load off MPI officers during peak times by assisting staff with answering queries. This is about using technology to allow officers to focus on their important role of keeping pests and diseases out of New Zealand,” said MPI detection technology manager Brett Hickman.

Read the full article here.