Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Your virtual assistant for personal financial advice

11.05.2005


Added usability and intelligence has been brought to virtual assistants thanks to technology developed by European researchers, offering online users an entertaining, yet competent professional financial service.



“The interaction of natural language, online translation, 3D-avatar technology and artifical intelligence creates a powerful instrument that will find a wide acceptance among users,” says Ulrich Thiel at Germany’s Fraunhofer Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute (IPSI) and partner in the European IST project VIP ADVISOR.

Using online, live communication in the TV-like surrounding of a virtual studio, the photorealistic avatar of the advisor simulates a real situation with a one-to-one personal dialogue accessible 24/7. The brower-based consulting system can be used from any computer. It is expected to help in the area of customer care to reduce service inquiries.


Project partners developed a unique interaction of several state-of-the-art technologies into a module that can be integrated into an existing electronic application or content management system. An Interaction Manager controls speech recognition and synthesis, online translation, as well as natural language-analysis and generation. It is fed with data from a knowledge database and specific risk management information.

VIP ADVISOR is unique because of the simplicity of its user interface, the possibility of seamless integration into existing platforms and workflows, as well as the use of natural language to navigate within the application. However, the very human-like nature of the avatar ushers in a challenge.

Ulrich explains: ”The development of intelligent persona systems using innovative application designs often leads to new technological problems. The more the advisor looks and behaves human-like, the more users will expect in terms of flexibility, knowledge and intelligence.”

Increasing the intelligence of a system usually involves adding knowledge sources and processes to handle them. The result is another challenge: ways to improve the filtering, indexing, retrieval and presentation of relevant external knowledge, for example documents from websites, as a natural continuation of the dialogue.

Several usability tests were performed involving 10 professional risk advisors who evaluated ease of interaction and the correctness of the answers. Ulrich reports that in most cases, the test results were positive.

Although the project ended in December 2003, Fraunhofer IPSI is continuing with the work on the advisor agent, which will be evaluated this summer in field experiments with the Darmstadt Chamber of Commerce. The final results could be a plug-in for existing counselling applications using existing content. This plug-in could be sold on a licensed basis and customised to meet the client’s needs.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches
25.05.2018 | Universität Ulm

nachricht Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>