London South Bank University, ANS develop voice and facial recognition chatbot
London South Bank University has entered a strategic partnership with digital and cloud service provider ANS to develop the first voice-enabled and biometric facial recognition chatbot in Europe, the company announced.
“Voice and facial recognition technology have been around for quite a few years now as has AI and machine learning, so we wanted to leverage the power of all of these technologies to create a truly unique and engaging digital offering for our students,” said Alex Denley, Director of Innovation and Transformation at London South Bank University.
“The combination of an avatar, facial recognition and the personified voice is something that hasn’t been done before in the UK higher education landscape so we’re really excited to see what impact this will have on our students,” he explained.
The university’s chatbot, dubbed Ellie, will be built on ANS’ chatbot accelerator, Basebot, and on the AWS cloud framework. Ellie will deliver 3D front-end experiences for students, due to the integration with Amazon Sumerian and voice-enabled technology. Students will be identified through facial biometrics, which will empower Ellie to personalize and customize the information it delivers for each student.
Ellie can be accessed through one of the digital screens placed around the campus, and when it detects movement toward the screen, it will share verbal information about lecture time and location, directions, and even offer food and beverage pre-order opportunity. In-built machine learning algorithms and predictive analysis will help with making suggestions and recommendations.
“ANS were able to provide a unique chatbot foundation and their agile delivery model was of huge value to us and along with their proven track record of success in the higher education industry, we were confident we could work collaboratively with ANS to deliver this truly unique project,” said Andy Barrow, CTO at ANS.
“Chatbot technology isn’t new to the higher education market but London South Bank University are really pushing boundaries with their unique digital vision to improve the student experience. We’re delighted to be working so closely with the university to bring this digital vision to life, and we look forward to working with them in future as they develop and expand their digital offerings,” he added.