Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Introducing Emily, the new voice of Bell Canada

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    16,684
    Carrier(s)
    TELUS Mobility
    Feedback Score
    0

    Introducing Emily, the new voice of Bell Canada

    Introducing Emily, the new voice of Bell Canada

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 -- Bell Canada customers in Ontario will have a new
    friendly experience when they contact the company through its 310-Bell (310-
    2355) customer service line. Her name is Emily and she's a native of
    Fredericton, New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton
    University who enjoys listening to live music in her free time... And she's a
    computer.

    Emily is dedicated to making the lives of Bell customers simpler by
    engaging them in conversations to determine what their needs are. Her ability
    and willingness to assist customers is based on sophisticated speech
    recognition technology. Emily received her calling in life as part of the
    Company's broader plan to simplify processes. While Emily doesn't fully
    eliminate the need to make selections using a dial pad, she does take her role
    of making things easier for customers to heart and reduces the number of steps
    and the time required for customers to get the information they want.

    "In years to come we'll look back and see that Emily was one of the very
    important steps we took to bring simplicity to customers," said John Sheridan,
    President and COO, Bell Canada. "She's proof that technology can be used to
    make things easier for customers, not more complicated. Emily is a symbol of
    change for the company and its customers and we expect that she'll become the
    inspiration for re-inventing the ways in which we serve our customers."

    When customers call 310-Bell and input their telephone number, Emily is
    there to answer the call. She answers the phone with a friendly greeting and
    follows through with a professional and helpful attitude. Emily greets
    customers with the following, "Hi, this is Emily, your new automated service
    representative." Customers can then simply speak to Emily and tell her what
    information they need or what transactions they would like to carry out. For
    example, a customer can simply say "I want to know more about Call Display",
    or they can say "I'm moving" and Emily will either ask the customer for more
    specific information about their request, or transfer their call directly to
    the right customer care menu or customer service representative.

    Bell is investing approximately $10 million dollars in the development
    and implementation of Emily across the company, as one of the many steps Bell
    is taking in 2003 to simplify services for customers. A French language
    version of Emily is currently in development and Bell Canada plans to
    gradually introduce Emily in phases throughout its entire service area. The
    speech recognition technology used for Emily was created by Nuance, a leading
    speech expert for companies and telecommunications companies worldwide. It is
    based on the Company's SayAnything(TM) technology which allows for natural
    customer interactions and has been designed to recognize thousands of
    different accents, pronunciations and words. In the fall of 2002, Emily was
    successfully piloted in the 905 area code and a number of enhancements were
    made to the system based on customer feedback during that trial.

    To find out more about the Emily speech recognition service or to hear a
    sample exchange, please visit www.bell.ca/310-bell

    http://www.bce.ca/en/news/releases/b.../16/69697.html
    TELUS Mobility
    the future is friendly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,473
    Device(s)
    Nexus 6P, iPhone 7 Plus
    Carrier(s)
    WIND Mobile, Rogers, Public Mobile, T-Mobile, 3 UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    <RANT>
    All these fancy technologies.... how about we fix the website and stop sending me 20 email bill notifications?
    </RANT>

    Really it's embarrassing for a one of the largest communications company to not be able to keep their website up.
    All comments are my own opinion and do not reflect the views of my employer or affiliated groups.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London, ON, Canada
    Posts
    10,444
    Device(s)
    Blackberry 8100 Pearl
    Carrier(s)
    Rogers
    Feedback Score
    0
    if i remember correctly, they don't maintain their own website.
    Sammy740: It's ironically called BlueChips...something Bell isn't.
    Bell's new marketing slogan: Over promise, Under deliver.
    "System Access Fees are charged by all wireless companies to help pay for the network and the ongoing software, technology and other upgrades to that network. Generally, the higher the fee, the greater the opportunity to invest in network quality to enhance your experience. Just one more reason to choose Bell. "

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Mid-nowhere Tex-***
    Posts
    836
    Device(s)
    ZiPhone running 1.1.4, Nokia E65 (awaiting firmware, WTF Nokia?), SE W880i, Nokia N75, Nokia 7900
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile, Sprint PCS, Nextel, Vodafone
    Feedback Score
    0
    Wow, Claire has a sister!! BCE folks, you'll learn to HATE 'Emily'. Trust me, 5,000,000 SPCS Claire haters can't be wrong.
    My #1 oh-I-wish item at present: A WiFi IAX-compliant phone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London, ON, Canada
    Posts
    10,444
    Device(s)
    Blackberry 8100 Pearl
    Carrier(s)
    Rogers
    Feedback Score
    0
    at first i didn't like Emily, and always tried to avoid her by pressing numbers...but after "experiencing" her a few times now, she's the best...her recognition is very good and she's nice to talk to on those lonely winter afternoons.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    70
    Device(s)
    Samsung Galaxy S Captivate
    Carrier(s)
    Rogers
    Feedback Score
    0
    Having used Emily, I must admit it's one of the better speech rec applications. The use of Nuance's "Say Anything" technology is a big step forward from the traditional guided speech rec systems that most companies have.

    After working in the telephony business for almost 10 years, I have never seen an application that can be better done with speech rec than touch tone, at least not in North America. Having low cost touch tone phone services and exposure to IVR applications for the past 10-15 years in different areas in life has really educated people on how they use the technology. Like DJ, many people are trying to use touch tone with a speech rec system when they first get implemented, and many times find the interface confusing / frustrating. This is especially so with long numeric input (e.g. account #, credit card #, ...) because the recognition technology is still not up to par to users' expectation. (Of course, understand that users are expecting human level of recognition!) Also, there are certain inputs that users will not want others to hear (e.g. credit card #) when using the systems in "public" locations e.g. open office space. It is also cumbersome to keep track of complex input (e.g. address) without visual. In these circumstances, the web interface is preferable.

    Still, kudos to Bell Canada & IBM for a job well done with the Emily design & implementation!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,673
    Device(s)
    Nokia 6188 v5.46 PRL 26731 w/ Force CDMA800
    Carrier(s)
    TELUS Mobility
    Feedback Score
    0
    It will be interesting to see how Emily handles voice recognition from people with strong english, chinese, french, indian, etc. accents. I sometimes can't even understand what Grounds Keeper Willie from the Simpsons is saying cause of his strong scottish accent.

    Will a Chinese version of Emily be implemented as well in Vancover and Toronto, since they make up a significant fraction of the population in those metropolitan areas?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,473
    Device(s)
    Nexus 6P, iPhone 7 Plus
    Carrier(s)
    WIND Mobile, Rogers, Public Mobile, T-Mobile, 3 UK
    Feedback Score
    0

    Talking

    That's a good point, but never mind the new immigrants, does it even recognize Jean Chretien's english?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    70
    Device(s)
    Samsung Galaxy S Captivate
    Carrier(s)
    Rogers
    Feedback Score
    0
    Having used Nuance's speech rec platform in other occasions, the problem does not seem to tie to accents as us human defined it. It's more about how close it sounds statistically to the defined norm.

    I had seen 2 people testing another version of Nuance, one with very slight 'Indian' accent (not sure what Indian language) that to me sounded like clear English, and another one with quite heavy Cantonese accent. Nuance got stumped with certain words when the first tester said them, but was fine when the 2nd tester said them.

    In general, I am quite impressed with Nuance's capability to recognize English with various accents. It seems to have a bit more difficulty with French as most people speak French faster than English.

    PS: For those interested in Chinese, famous movie star / DJ Sandra Ng did an online test of Cantonese speech rec in her radio show a few years ago. She used various Chinese accents and the system recognized them all!

Bookmarks