MEDIA RELEASE: Vodafone reveals identity of its Digital Assistant

Friday October 26, 2018

Vodafone today revealed the identity of the newest member of its team, a Digital Assistant. Introducing Kiri. She’s down-to-earth, easy to talk to, warm and empathetic. Kiri is tech savvy and loves to help customers get the most out of their products and services.

In a Kiwi-first, customers will be able to interact with Kiri in-store later this year.

Kiri’s strikingly life-like appearance relies on real time rendering and AI, using FaceMe’s latest techniques in machine learning based animation to produce a compelling experience. Skin texture such as pores and lines are carefully sculpted, and light reflection and roughness have been detailed by FaceMe’s artists.

The result is a one-of-a-kind Digital Assistant tailored specifically for Vodafone’s Kiwi audience.

Vodafone Customer Operations Director Helen van Orton describes the customer-led process of bringing Kiri to life.

“Customers tell us they want the experience of engaging with a Digital Assistant to be seamless, emotive and engaging – characteristics that are critical for creating trust. Customers feel seen, valued and that their needs are taken care of.

“Kiri will help out our retail staff so they have time to focus on more rewarding work and solve more challenging issues for clients. The technology also has the potential to create whole new job categories where frontline employees monitor conversations to continuously improve them, creating brand new professions in our evolving digital world,” van Orton said.

Natural, engaging interaction requires a less than 200 millisecond response time. Kiri’s processing has been optimised for speed and accuracy to create an experience that feels instantaneous. Computer vision technology allows Kiri to ‘see’ and behave like humans. For example, using her situational awareness system, Kiri can naturally respond when people walk up to her, and greet them proactively.

FaceMe CEO Danny Tomsett believes emotional connection is key for interaction.

“FaceMe has analysed what creates great experiences and which human qualities we need to reproduce – and supercharge – using AI technology. Through advanced Digital Human EQ combined with the IBM Watson conversational platform, we have created a great customer experience that leaves people feeling deeply content and satisfied with each conversation,” Tomsett said.

Kiri is currently in training and will start working in select Vodafone retail stores later this year.

“I’m really excited about my new role at Vodafone and to talk to our customers. I’m still learning, but in future I want to answer those complicated technical questions. I can’t wait to meet everyone!” Kiri said.

Watch Vodafone’s Kiri video here.

About Vodafone NZ:

Vodafone is a leading full service telecommunications company, with mobile and fixed networks helping customers across the country connect for a better future. For more information, please visit: http://www.vodafone.co.nz.

About FaceMe:

FaceMe’s Digital Assistant Platform is a next generation interface that combines the best customer experience influencers from both man and machine, embodying the brand of an organisation and creating significant value through emotional connection, personalisation and consistency with end-users (something that has not been able to be achieved through digital channels previously).

Available as a platform with simple APIs, any Enterprise customer or chatbot product company can easily reimagine and create powerful customer experiences that would extend across enterprise customer service, retail, healthcare, education and Government.

Website: https://www.faceme.com/

About: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adEWVL4PIjw