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 Smart Computers
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>