Watson-powered commercial cognitive website released


Volume released world’s first commercial cognitive website powered by IBM Watson, signalling an end of the traditional website.

On the new website, visitors can use cumbersome navigation bars, buttons and drop-down menus or spend arduous minutes finding the right answers to their questions.

Known as Volume’s Digital Concierge(TM), the website uses Watson’s ‘conversations’ service to allow text to speech interaction between a human and a Smart Machine.

The cognitive application called ‘LUSY’ is trained in a single domain—the company, Volume.

The aim is to provide all the information on the company through natural dialogue and Q&A.

Volume’s Digital Concierge remembers returning visitors and can engage in chit-chat.

The application ‘learns’ through every interaction and question, and only provides an answer when it reaches a level of confidence that this is correct.

Volume’s CEO Chris Sykes states, “It’s a bold move removing our corporate website for an AI application like our Digital Concierge. However, we needed to do this to amass all the questions it was being asked; whether on- or off-topic.”

Since its soft launch in October, the application has been asked over 16,000 questions.

“We learn from those and retrain the application, so it can answer more questions accurately and its domain knowledge grows. That’s the beauty of Watson-powered applications,” Sykes added.

Volume develops its AI-powered applications iteratively through software-development methodologies such as SCRUM.

At the base layer it allows a human to have a relatively natural conversation with a machine.

The next layer of cognitive services to be added will be able to detect ‘the mood of the customer’ and their character insights, which will dictate the type of content served up and its tone.

The third layer is image- and voice-recognition to provide a more personalized customer experience.

Volume sees industry-wide adoption for these applications in the not-too-distant future, from Digital Concierges to Technical Advisors, Digital Sales Agents and Smart Customer Service Reps.

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