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CapitaLand unveils AI chatbot for virtual concierge services

Kareyst Lin | Oct. 26, 2016
[Updated] Grab will partner CapitaLand to integrate ride-hailing functionalities with Sparkle.

[Updated on 18 Nov 2016 to include how IRA.AI and Microsoft are powering Sparkle]

Real estate company CapitaLand unveiled its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot Sparkle at its Future Cities: Asia Forum on 21 October 2016.

Customers will enjoy a slew of virtual concierge services that allow them to hail rides, book restaurants, and browse retailer offerings by simply chatting with Sparkle.

Built on Powerupcloud Technologies' IRA.AI -- a highly adaptive AI platform -- Sparkle is designed to decipher localised linguistic cues while understanding and remembering context. The engine also learns automatically through intelligent feedback scoring algorithms, making the conversation smarter along the way, according to a press release by CapitaLand.

Sparkle's context mapping and context switching capability is enabled by deep learning algorithms and natural language processing modules built upon Microsoft Azure as well as the Microsoft Bot Framework, which helps developers build and connect intelligent bots that interacts with users wherever they are from - from text/SMS to Skype, to even Office 365 mail and other popular services.

"Sparkle will be a chatbot trained by customers, for customers," said Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand. "We want to create an exceptional customer experience that offers the best of both offline and online."

Embracing offline-and-online consumer experiences

As part of CapitaLand's offline-and-online (O&O) initiative, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ride-hailing app company Grab, to integrate ride-hailing functionalities with Sparkle.

"At CapitaLand, we believe the future is not so much online versus offline, but the convergence of both," said Lim. "O&O means a seamless integration of online and offline experiences for shoppers."

The collaboration with Grab is part of a comprehensive tie-up. Grab is CapitaLand's Strategic Mobility Partner to bring 'live, work, play' mobility across its diverse real estate portfolio to customers.

"CapitaLand's partnership with Grab shows how the lines are blurring between what is online and offline. Our properties are social spaces where people and communities flourish and connect; mobility solutions such as Grab are very much the venous systems that connect people with one another, and to the built environment," explained Lim.


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