Launching Europe’s first voice & facial recognition chatbot

London South Bank University has partnered with leading Cloud and Digital Services Provider, ANS to build Europe’s first voice and facial recognition chatbot.

The university has leveraged ANS’ chatbot accelerator, Basebot, and the AWS cloud to provide the foundation on which to develop their chatbot, Ellie. Using Amazon Sumerian and voice-enabled technology, the university will create a unique avatar to create engaging 3D front-end experiences for its students.

Ellie will also utilise facial recognition to identify students and provide hyper-personalised information, tailored to each individual. Access to Ellie will be made available across multiple digital screens located around the campus. When a student approaches the screen, Ellie will be able to verbally provide information such as the time and location of their next lecture, directions and even enable students to pre-order their favourite drinks or hot snacks which will be available to collect as they make their way to their next class.

As well as proving useful information and returning responses to frequently asked questions, over time, Ellie will use machine learning and predictive analytics to make suggestions and recommendation to students without the need to be prompted.

Alex Denley, Director of Innovation and Transformation said, “We wanted to develop a sophisticated chatbot that could do more than just answer frequently asked questions. 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. 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.”

“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.”

Andy Barrow, CTO at ANS added: “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.”

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