ServiceNow Teases GenAI-Powered Customer Service Avatars

Will digital avatars be the next CX GenAI craze?

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Corporate Business Meeting in Virtual Reality Office. Real Female Manager Standing Next to Two Avatars of Colleagues, and a Hologram of Another Specialist.
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Published: May 9, 2024

Rhys Fisher

ServiceNow has unveiled its latest generative AI (GenAI) solution: digital customer service avatars.

Showcased at the company’s annual customer and partner event, Knowledge 24, ServiceNow describes the interactive digital characters as having the potential to provide “more engaging, personal, employee and customer experiences.”

Built in collaboration with NVIDIA, the solution is powered by ServiceNow’s Now Assist GenAI and AI enterprise software, as well as leveraging Nvidia’s Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) speech, large language model (LLM), and animation technologies.

For those unacquainted with avatars, they are a form of virtual assistant that acts as a digital representation of a person.

For example, in a customer service scenario rather than typing a question to a chatbot, customers will be able to speak to the avatar and have a more human, intelligent interaction due to the solution’s GenAI-powered capabilities.

ServiceNow outlined HR, finance, IT, retail, and travel as the sectors that might be best suited to adopting the technology. The company also suggested that the tool’s “personal touch” would be useful in guiding employees through work policies and software capabilities.

While the company has not confirmed any official release dates following the demo at Knowledge 24, ServiceNow President and Chief Operating Officer, CJ Desai, did speak about the organization’s plans to continue pushing the boundaries of what GenAI can do:

“As AI becomes deeply ingrained in our everyday lives, customers and employees expect technology to intelligently learn and adapt to their individual work and communication styles,” said Desai.

We’re continuously expanding our collaboration with NVIDIA to explore new ways for people to interact with generative AI through Now Assist, to help ensure AI is a friendly, engaging, and empathetic experience for everyone, based on users’ preferences.

Let’s take a closer look at how the technology works.

The Nitty Gritty

As mentioned above, a key aspect in creating the digital avatar was Now Assist – the GenAI innovation arm of the company’s Now Platform.

As part of the collaboration between the two tech firms, ServiceNow’s existing GenAI infrastructure was combined with NVIDIA Ace, a suite of technologies that enable “lifelike and engaging digital avatars for customer service.”

The NVIDIA toolkit included the following solutions:

  • NVIDIA Riva: Automatic speech recognition and language translation in multiple languages for comprehending human speech.
  • NVIDIA Audio2Face: Facial animation and audio synchronization.
  • NVIDIA Omniverse Renderer: Ray-traced rendering based on physical principles to enhance the realism of an avatar’s visuals.
  • NVIDIA AI: An enterprise software platform for deploying secure, reliable, and production-grade AI applications.

While the demo was one of the major talking points from the event, both ServiceNow and NVIDIA have emphasized how speech and animation GenAI technology is not limited to avatars, and can be deployed to improve user interactions across various business functions.

Indeed, the untapped potential of GenAI and the firms’ partnership was discussed by Manuvir Das, Vice President of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA:

ServiceNow is at the forefront of bringing generative AI to the world’s enterprises to support billions of hours of service requests, and our work together can help us identify new ways to interact with Now Assist so users quickly get the help they need.

More ServiceNow Collaborations

While the AI avatar is the latest result of a ServiceNow partnership, the company can boast a number of significant collaborations in recent times.

With more features than Jay-Z, Knowledge 24 also saw the announcement that ServiceNow and Genesys Cloud would be integrating their Customer Service Management (CSM) platforms to create a unified solution: Unified Experience from Genesys and ServiceNow.

The integration will merge Genesys’s contact center, journey orchestration, and workforce engagement management (WEM) capabilities into ServiceNow CSM, promising to centralize routing, unify customer service teams, and enhance the agent experience.

The Unified Experience offering is set to be available later this year, delivering on the promise of a consolidated and seamless customer experience solution.

Moreover, at the end of last year, ServiceNow also revealed that it had forged a five-year strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), encompassing various initiatives.

Notably, the integration of ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management (CSM) platform with Amazon Connect aims to enable businesses to enhance contact center case management by leveraging AWS AI technology within ServiceNow workflows.

Additionally, ServiceNow and AWS will collaborate to deliver solutions for cloud transformation, automotive manufacturing, and supply chains.

To find out more about the Genesys and AWS collaborations, visit CX Today … today.

Artificial IntelligenceChatbotsGenerative AIVirtual AgentVirtual Assistant

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