April 26, 2017
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • IBM Japan, Ltd.

Rakuten and IBM Japan Collaborate to Build
“Rakuten AI Platform”

- Promoting the adoption of chatbots in customer support -

Tokyo, April 26, 2017 - Rakuten, Inc. and IBM Japan, Ltd. today announced that the two companies have collaborated to build the “Rakuten AI Platform,” an internal Rakuten system with the aim of smoothly introducing chatbots with automatic response functions into customer support.

The Rakuten AI Platform is an internal system built utilizing APIs provided by IBM Watson*1, such as its natural language processing and conversation control APIs, in addition to Rakuten’s AI-related technologies and customer support database. Connecting the platform with the web-based inquiries chat systems and smartphone apps provided by the various services of Rakuten Group will make the smooth introduction of chatbots possible. The platform will also reduce the time taken to introduce chatbots to each service and is expected to improve the quality and convenience of customer support.

In addition, as part of the development of the Rakuten AI Platform, Rakuten and IBM Japan have this year established the Center of Competency, a virtual organization in which employees from both companies develop and implement AI technologies related to the AI platform and which will provide training and education on the AI platform for Rakuten employees.

Rakuten has promoted research into AI-related technologies and their practical applications, such as the improvement of image recognition technology through machine learning and deep learning, as well as big data analysis. By combining both internal and external AI-related technologies with its own business expertise, Rakuten will continue to promote the adoption of AI and improve the quality and convenience of its services.

*1 A technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insight from large amounts of unstructured data.

About IBM Japan

Company name: IBM Japan, Ltd.
Founded: June 17, 1937
Main Businesses: Providing products and services related to information systems
Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Elly Keinan, General Manager, IBM Japan
URL: https://www.ibm.com/jp-ja/

* IBM Watson is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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