Voice and the conversational interface is a new trend of technology, big technology companies all over the world such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, or IBM are investing strongly in this field. With the mission of a pioneer in technology, through FPT.AI, FPT will provide tools for Vietnamese firms and technology community to deploy services toward this trend.
History of Human-Computer Interaction
In parallel with the development of the computer generations, the method of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) also has had important inventions, which considerably contributed to increasing usability and efficiency of computers in both work and life. In the last 75 years, there have been several breakthroughs every decade in this field. For example, the invention of GUI in 1981, handheld computer (PalmPilot) in the 1990s, the launch of iPhone’s tap & touch interface in 2007. Most recently, the voice interface has begun to be widely used since Apple introduced Siri system on iPhone.
After a period of development, current speech recognition technology begins to reach an acceptable good level for users to use, not only on Google’s platform, but other technology companies (and their platforms) also achieve word accuracy rate of more than 90%. The two main factors that cause the real explosion of the use of voice interface are (i) achieving accuracy in identifying and understanding the language at the rate of 99%, (ii) reducing latency in the response of the system. The voice interface systems are gradually approaching this level, such as product of Amazon Echo, recently decrease latency from when user gives command until receiving response from about 9 seconds down to 1.5 second.
Another trend is that the messaging applications surpassed social network to become the major communication platform. The messaging application platforms do not just stop at exchanging personal conversations, but they are gradually becoming a communication tool for business and work. All big messaging platforms such as WeChat, Line, or Facebook are offering tools to support businesses in interacting and providing services to customers via voice message (conversational commerce). Conversation channel has many advantages in interacting with customers (compared to other communication channels): determining identity, time, the context of the conversation, etc. This leads to the demand for the development of automatic chat application for businesses.
FPT Chatbot – FPT Conversational Platform
The deployment of a voice and conversational interface system requires many related technologies such as Voice Recognition Technology (Speech Recognition), Voice Integrating Technology (Text to Speech), Language Processing Technology (Syntax Analyzing), Artificial Intelligence (AI)… FPT has been investing into researching these fields. Currently, the community can use Vietnamese speech synthesis technology of FPT through Openfpt.vn gateway.
In upcoming time, FPT will introduce conversational technology platform, FPT.AI, so as to help programmers to easily develop Chabot’s applications (interact conversation with the users automatically) or voice interface with robots or smart devices. The technologies relating to the voice and conversational interface can be used easily through the form of APIs (application programming interfaces). FPT.AI system uses the latest Cloud technology, businesses and developers can exploit the technology in flexible form as the service model (Software as a Service) and on-demand payment (Pay as you go).
FPT.AI is now in Beta stage, the technologies of FPT.AI are being exploited to deploy chatbots systems for FPT Telecom and FPT Retails. FPT Telecom is one of the top Internet providers in Vietnam. FPT Telecom is maintaining a team of more than 300 people to support and take care of customers. Recently, Facebook Messenger has become an important interacting channel with customers, especially young ones. From the early of 2017, FPT Telecom will deploy the chatbots system to help customers automatically on Facebook Messenger via the FPT.AI system. It aims to improve efficiency, reduce customer response time down to nearly 0 and minimize costs. Being a top retail chain of digital products in Vietnam, FPT Shop is now using FPT.AI system to develop chatbots, focusing on sales and consultancy of products to users through Facebook channel.
Tran Tuan Anh – FPT HO
(Published on the FPT Technology Magazine, FPT TechInsight No.1)