The Brain in BMW

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We’ve come a long way since the speaking clock, but transactions over the phone or online can still sometimes be frustrating affairs. Endless options repeated just to get your bank balance, and not having a 24 hour service can be a pain. But if you want to ask something, anything about the new BMW electric car, the i3, you’ll get a swift and expert response… from a computer. The BMW I genius is a remarkable programme, known as “The Brain”.

Dimitry Aksenov, 21 years old, founded technology company London Brand Management in 2011. The company provides an AI service for big companies who want to outsource customer/staff interactions to computers.

 BMW UK marketing director Chris Brownridge said:

“BMW I Genius is capable of understanding each question and responding accurately every time as if you were talking to an expert from the company. The system operates around the clock, allowing the consumer to ask any question relating to the “i” cars but without the hassle of having to pick up the phone or go into a dealership.”

Not only can the computer recognise the question, and provide an answer. It does it within three seconds. It reads and recognises keywords, as well as understanding context, and learns about you during the exchange and is capable of having a meaningful conversation as well as providing answers to questions about the car.

 LBM’s system is cloud-based, and so it can be accessed from anywhere . It can deal with thousands of enquiries simultaneously, and its database has a virtually unlimited memory capacity. It’s the equivalent of having hundreds or even thousands of call centre staff, with the added advamtage that it remembers and learns, and there is no downtime. Much better then than our human brain?

Aksenov provides the technology to brands under licence with a one-off implementation fee to “teach” the system. Unlike hiring humans, the AI only has to learn once and that’s it for good. He said:

“Within five years we will have a system that truly knows more than a human could ever know and is more efficient at delivering information. It will replace many of the boring jobs that are currently done by humans. Unfortunately, this may take some jobs from the economy by replacing human beings with a machine. But it is the future.”

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