Hitachi Enters AI Race with EMIEW3 Customer Query System

Hitachi has jumped into the machine learning and artificial intelligence race with its own voice-based AI assistant platform, dubbed EMIEW3.

Hitachi Enters AI Race with EMIEW3 Customer Query SystemFor now, Hitachi is aiming the solution at customer service applications, seeking to help companies reduce the costs of fielding inquiries. The company has trained EMIEW3 to understand how a single inquiry can be rephrased in multiple ways, and it says the machine learning processes involved can now be used by employees with no special AI training to further refine EMIEW3’s capabilities, simply by talking with the system.

The result, according to a statement from the company, is a voice interaction AI system able to learn “quickly about products or facilities which may change daily”.

Hitachi’s work with EMIEW3 can be seen as part of a larger trend of major tech companies’ intensifying efforts to develop ever more sophisticated AI systems. Google is banking on such voice-based technology in its pitch for its new Pixel 2 smartphones, and Samsung recently announced multiple initiatives to enhance its AI R&D, including a new research lab at the University of Montreal. For its part, Hitachi’s focus on customer service applications, rather than consumer tech applications, could allow it to reap benefits in a particular niche, though even here there is already some stiff competition from the likes of Nuance.

Hitachi says it will showcase EMIEW3 at its Hitachi Social Innovation Forum in Tokyo, which runs as part of the Tokyo International Forum from November 1st to 2nd, where it will demo the system in collaboration with the Haneda Robotics Lab.