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Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.
September 28, 2017
Reducing Labor Time for Conversation Contents to One Tenth
Fig. 1. Learning process
Tokyo, September 28, 2017 --- Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, Hitachi) today announced the development of active-learning dialogue data-based AI technology to enable EMIEW3, Hitachi's human symbiotic service robot,*1 to spontaneously "learn" how to respond to questions that it could not previously answer. EMIEW3 clarifies the meaning of enquiries with related staff through dialogue interaction, and in the process, automatically increases its dialogue contents to increase "comprehension" for appropriate responses. Hitachi is currently developing EMIEW3 with view to use in customer service and guidance settings. Using this technology, EMIEW3's dialogue contents can be enhanced by staff without specialist training, simply by responding to queries posed by EMIEW3, and was found to reduce labor-hours for this process to about one-tenth the time previously needed.*2 Further, this technology allows EMIEW3 to learn more quickly about products or facilities which may change daily, as well as increase comprehension and correctly respond to customer enquiries. Hitachi is aiming to provide even higher quality dialogue data-based solutions by using this technology.
In recent years, in light of companies facing labor-shortage for customer service desks, there is an increasing anticipation for advanced robot-based voice-dialogue solutions. Hitachi has conducted several field-tests for customer service and guidance solutions with EMIEW3*3 through which it has found that due to wide variation in how a customer query might be posed, that in some cases EMIEW3 is unable to comprehend the nature of the question, and thus unable to answer the question. To address this issue, conventionally, a system administrator would need to continuously analyze interaction logs even after commencement of the service, and regularly expand the dialogue contents. Recognizing the importance of being able to efficiently expand the dialogue contents after the service has been initiated, Hitachi developed active-learning AI technology that investigates questions which EMIEW3 was unable to answer, identifies the causes and clarifies questions that it did not previously understand, to enable EMIEW3 to "learn and grow" through voice-based dialogue with staff. The technology developed consists of the following two points:
As a result, log analysis by system administrators become unnecessary, and enables daily enhancement of the dialogue contents by simple on-site dialogue between staff with appropriate business knowledge and EMIEW3.
Using this technology, Hitachi aims to provide higher quality correct response voice-dialogue solutions to businesses with customer service desks. This technology will be demonstrated with EMIEW3 in the showcase at the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2017 TOKYO, to be held from 1-2 November at the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, Tokyo. Demonstration field-tests will also be conducted in collaboration with the Haneda Robotics Lab*4 at as part of the Haneda Airport Robot Experiment Project.
Fig. 2. Overview of this technology
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2016 (ended March 31, 2017) totaled 9,162.2 billion yen ($81.8 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in the Social Innovation Business, and it has approximately 304,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including Power / Energy, Industry / Distribution / Water, Urban Development, and Finance / Government & Public / Healthcare. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.