How to create powerful customer service with digital humans

Share this post:

I think one of the big challenges for AI is public perception. People think it’s much more advanced than it really is.

There’s also a common fear of AI—that it will take our jobs, make human beings redundant and somehow rule over us. In my view, I just don’t see this happening.

AI augments human capabilities. It can help us improve the way we do our jobs and enhance how we go about our daily lives.

Creating digital humans

At Soul Machines, we believe that AI-based systems will be more helpful if they’re more like us—if we can interact with them, trust them and engage with them as we would human beings.

We’ve designed user interfaces with human faces and emotional expression. As a result, engagement is much more natural.

For example, when you’re talking to one of our digital humans and smile at it, it recognizes that you’re smiling, which gives a hit of virtual dopamine, making it smile back. It’s a natural, emotional face-to-face interaction

By combining emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence, we’ve enabled highly personalized interaction. Our digital humans will recognize you, they’ll know your personality, they’ll know what you do and do not like.

All of this is enabled by our core technology, a virtual nervous system that we use to bring digital humans to life. This sits on top of IBM Watson and we use Watson Assistant as a key part of our dialog interface.

Using AI to democratize personalized service

Most companies haven’t been able to personally interact with their customers for decades.

We think there will be massive disruption around this affecting many industries—like banking, finance, technology or automotive—where customers are going to expect more customized experiences. Being able to establish these types of relationships with customers will become increasingly more valuable.

With our digital humans, we’re able to democratize all personalized service to create these relationships. Each user gets an experience completely customized to them. More importantly, even though interactions are personalized, we can still ensure the accurate delivery of specialized knowledge.

We’re working with our first crop of customers at the moment—like Autodesk, Daimler-Benz Financial Services and Royal Bank of Scotland—to create really different and very powerful AI customer service experiences. Watson’s a big part of this work.

Starting your own AI journey

As with any new technology, I recommend starting small. Have a big vision but be prepared to start small and iterate rapidly and incrementally.

That’s been the secret to our customers’ success… starting off with initial implementations of Watson and chatbot-type technology, and then building from there by adding human faces and emotion.

We’re heading into an era where people will spend a lot more time interfacing with AI-based systems—our goal is to make these interactions more natural, satisfying and meaningful.


Listen to Greg Cross talk about making AI chatbots more human like so that people can trust and engage better:


Chief Business Officer

More AI/Watson stories

CIMON, the AI-powered robot, launches a new era in space travel

Outer space is unfriendly to humans. We can only exist in a contained environment with its own air supply, so that means working in very close quarters. Zero gravity means things don’t stay where you put them. Despite these constraints, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) must be highly productive on a very tight […]

Continue reading

AI speeds document discovery, giving law firms a leg up

Here’s some food for thought on where technology fits into the legal profession. First, ask a hundred lawyers why they chose their calling. Then ask 100 clients how they want their law firms spending their time and racking up billable hours. The chances are that neither group mentioned the time-consuming drudgery of the early discovery, […]

Continue reading

AI insights from Behr help consumers pick their paint palette

Behr Paint Company offers more than 3,000 colors in our paint collection. We find that consumers often get confused when it comes to picking the right color for their project. They’re overwhelmed with choice, causing a kind of analysis paralysis. Often, people don’t take on or complete a painting project because of their struggle to […]

Continue reading