China’s second-largest search engine Sogou announced in a press release Tuesday that it has unveiled a Chinese-speaking artificial intelligence customer service avatar for Ping An Puhui, the online lending platform of Ping An Insurance Group.
The avatar, which is based on an employee of Ping An Puhui, looks and sounds exactly like a human being, according to Sogou, and will handle customer inquiries via the lending platform app.
Sogou first applied its speech synthesis, image detection, and prediction capabilities technologies to create one Chinese-speaking and one English-speaking newsreader for China’s official Xinhua News Agency in November last year.
The US-listed company also started a strategic cooperation with Shanghai-listed Zhangyue Technology to develop AI novel readers, KrASIA reported earlier this month.
Compared with the Xinhua news anchor and Zhang Yue novel readers in the pipeline, which only involves imputing written content, the Ping An AI financial assistant is expected to perform more interactive functions.
Sogou, which offers search functions for WeChat and has Tencent as one of its largest shareholders, is speeding up to monetize its AI capabilities in search of revenues beyond its core search engine business.