How and Why Companies Are Incorporating the Power of IBM Watson
How Watson helps animate virtual assistant avatars
Soul Machines is a developer of intelligent, emotionally responsive avatars that augment and enrich the user experience for artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. IBM Watson provides the Cognitive AI platform that allows users to directly interact with its emotionally responsive avatars. Together, they developed a virtual assistant for Australia's National Disability Insurance Agency.
Named Nadia, the virtual assistant is able to speak, write and chat online with people with disabilities. Academy Award winner and CEO of Soul Machines, Mark Sagar and his team, developed the emotionally intelligent (EI) avatar technology that provides Nadia with her human-like face and emotionally responsive expressions. As the Soul Machines team explained, "Nadia’s natural language capability is powered by IBM Watson’s Conversation system and is trained by capturing question variants and linking them to an intent. Combining a human face and voice with cognitive and emotional intelligence, in a system co-designed by the disability community, is a world first – and has resulted in the unique language and personality model that people with disability want and need."