Bots are evolving and increasingly it’s going to get more difficult to tell bots from real people, whether they’re just text bots or, in this case, life like looking avatars.


New Zealand based company Soul Machines, the company behind a sophisticated high definition digital avatar that, to all intents and purposes could probably fool most people into thinking they were interacting with and talking with a real customer service agent, have announced they’ve signed none other than European car maker Daimler as their latest customer.


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Daimler Financial Services is using a Soul Machines avatar dubbed Sarah to provide personalised assistance to customers of the company’s services, including car financing, leasing and insurance.

Soul Machines and Daimler demonstrated Sarah at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it’s the latest in a string of adoptions for the Auckland company’s technology. Just a week ago Soul Machines, which is a spinout from the University of Auckland Bioengineering Institute, announced that UK bank RBS was trialling its technology to answer customer queries.


Take a look for yourself


Late last year Soul Machines announced they were developing digital human interface for Autodesk’s customer assistance chatbot called the Autodesk Virtual Agent, or AVA for short.

Soul Machines says all these applications are built on top of IBM Watson to “provide a customer experience that goes way beyond the traditional AI user interface of chatbots and voice assistants.”


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According to Soul Machines Sarah combines artificial and emotional intelligence for “a completely new experience that redefines the link between man and machine.”

They also claim “Sarah will be able to assist customers similar to a personal concierge, with the goal of offering the right information at the right time with a convenient and emotionally intelligent, digital touchpoint,” and looking at what they’ve developed already, let alone where the technology will be in a years’ time, I’d say customer service agents everywhere should watch out…

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Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist working between the dates of 2020 and 2070, is described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil.” Regularly featured in the global press, including BBC, CNBC, Discovery and RT, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew sits on several boards and his recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, building the first generation of biological computers and re-envisioning global education with the G20, and helping the world’s largest manufacturers ideate the next 20 years of intelligent devices and machines. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, BOA, Blackrock, Bentley, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Du Pont, E&Y, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, UBS, and many more.

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