iFLYTEK has partnered with the northwest Chinese city of Xi’an to deploy contactless customer service using the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
In September 2021, iFLYTEK’s Xi’an branch received a request from the municipality to establish smart customer service centers for Metro Line 14. According to Fu Zhonghua, Executive Vice President of iFLYTEK’s Xi’an Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, “iFLYTEK quickly responded to the request and organized a research and development team. With our advanced speech technologies and the hard work of our researchers over a 6-month period, we managed to solve the problems.”
Now, the smart customer service centers have been fully implemented along the Xi’an Metro Line 14, providing customers 24-7 service at all stations along the track.
“We worked to improve the near-field speech recognition rate, and our customer was impressed by the noise reduction performance. The customer hoped that we could further enhance the speech recognition rate in noisy environments for general far-field use,” Fu recalled.
The smart customer service centers integrate AI, speech recognition, intelligent interaction technologies, and self-service capability based on AI knowledge graphs to provide services including ticket service and information inquiry.
The smart customer service center provides travelers with an all-encompassing guide to ticket purchase, station and route inquiry, and in-station navigation through voice interaction capabilities, allowing for easy, contactless services for travelers.
Lai Yizhe, vice president of iFLYTEK Xi’an Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, said: “To enhance noise reduction in complicated acoustic environments, we adjusted the algorithm model many times in order to develop a satisfactory option with an appropriate sound recognition rate. It supports the day-to-day operation of the smart customer service centers at each station along Line 14.”
Furthermore, iFLYTEK researchers opted to include a relatively small number of microphones and a directional sound pickup algorithm developed by the Institute to achieve accurate speech recognition and avoid interference between users of the smart customer service system.
iFLYTEK AI researchers are already exploring how such voice interaction technology could be applied to more public services and customer service interactions including in healthcare, government service, and ticket halls.