IRA.AI powers virtual concierge chatbot Sparkle for CapitaLand

Solution built on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Bot Framework aims to transform shoppers’ journey through artificial intelligence enabled by IRA.AI platform

Sparkle in action: The chatbot on the CAPITASTAR app will assist CapitaLand Mall shoppers on frequently asked questions, and even help book a taxi ride to their preferred mall
Sparkle in action: The chatbot on the CAPITASTAR app will assist CapitaLand Mall shoppers on frequently asked questions, and even help book a taxi ride to their preferred mall

SINGAPORE, 15 November 2016 – Powerupcloud Technologies announced today that it has partnered Microsoft to develop Sparkle, CapitaLand’s virtual concierge chatbot aimed at transforming the shopper’s journey, on IRA.AI – its highly adaptable artificial intelligence (AI) platform. Through Sparkle, CapitaLand customers get to enjoy a slew of virtual concierge services that allows them to hail rides, book restaurants, and browse retailer offerings by simply chatting with it on the app for CapitaStar, CapitaLand’s rewards programme for its customers. The refreshed CapitaStar app is now available for download for iOS and Android users.

“In our journey to innovate with new, cutting-edge technologies that help our customers better engage with their stakeholders, we are happy to develop CapitaLand’s Sparkle which is powered by our IRA.AI engine. Sparkle is a milestone for the team as the bot had to pick up over 2,500 nouns unique to CapitaLand, while ensuring its responses to end-users made sense,” said Siva S, Founder and CEO, Powerupcloud Technologies. “We were able to deliver this highly intuitive solution within three months, and we are certain that Sparkle will help CapitaLand in achieving its goal of transforming the retail journey through conversational commerce.”

Built on Powerupcloud Technologies’ IRA.AI, a highly adaptive AI platform, Sparkle is able to understand shoppers’ queries and respond accordingly via short message exchanges within the CapitaStar app. In addition, Sparkle is designed to decipher localised linguistic cues while understanding and remembering context. The engine also learns automatically through intelligent feedback scoring algorithms, making conversations smarter along the way.

Unlike most scripted chatbots, Sparkle is able to respond accordingly to shoppers’ queries by gaining context even without their inputs within the app.  For example, if a shopper was originally looking for fast food outlets in Bedok Mall and later asked a similar question for another CapitaLand mall, Sparkle is able to recognise this switch and respond accordingly without an additional question prompt. This makes the conversation between the shopper and Sparkle closer to interacting with a human.

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“CapitaLand was among the first in the retail industry to embrace online-to-offline and offline-to-online (O2O). With the launch of Sparkle, we are leading the way into the next era of consumerism, defined by convergent offline-AND-online (O&O) experiences,” said Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO, CapitaLand. “This is a first for an Asian real estate developer, and we invite our customers to join us to co-create Sparkle by interacting with it and making it smarter. This way, Sparkle will be a chatbot trained by customers, for customers.”

Today, Sparkle is able to deliver the following information and services to CapitaLand mall shoppers via CapitaStar app through a chat-like service:

  • Listing of all CapitaLand malls in Singapore
  • Directions to CapitaLand malls
  • Queries on stores within the malls
  • Book Grab rides to users’ preferred CapitaLand malls
  • Make reservations via Chope for any restaurant located in a CapitaLand mall
  • View the latest products of retailers such as CHARLES & KEITH and Capitol Optical

Sparkle was developed on IRA.AI as it enabled CapitaLand to deploy the solution on its own cloud platform, which ensured control over its own data. Powerupcloud was also able to integrate existing APIs and data sources seamlessly onto CapitaLand’s platform.

The context mapping and context switching capability illustrated 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.

“As everything around us becomes more digitised, we are seeing our customers and partners tap on Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform to deliver innovative solutions that drive digital transformation in every industry. Particularly, we are seeing forward-looking enterprises apply Conversations as a Platform, a new shift that applies the understanding of human language to computer and computing, to transform the way they are engaging with their customers,” said Jessica Tan, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore. “We are very pleased to have the IRA.AI team of Powerupcloud Technologies and CapitaLand choose Azure as the platform for Sparkle, a showcase piece for how the retail industry can leverage intelligent technologies to reimagine engagement with customers, and in turn create new business models and generate revenue.”

Powerupcloud Technologies is currently working with other enterprise customers in Singapore and Asia Pacific to deliver its IRA.AI-based bot solutions in areas such as customer service, product recommendation feature and sales support functions.

For more information on Powerupcloud Technologies’ IRA.AI platform, please visit http://ira.ai/