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Wed, 12 October 2022

Fano Labs Upgrading Cathay Pacific's Conversational AI Technology

(12/10/22)  Cathay Pacific has partnered with Fano Labs, a Hong Kong-based AI company, in order to upgrade the digital experience for customers via advanced conversational artificial intelligence (AI).

The new technology from Fano Labs is designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of the airlines AI chatbots, enabling them to provide more accurate responses to passengers and cargo customers queries.

As demand for travel returns, Cathay Pacific is anticipating an increase in the volume of call and chat traffic, with post-Covid19 travel enquiries already growing rapidly in the past few months.

The airline has also seen a shift in customer behaviour, turning from traditional hotlines to digital channels such as WhatsApp and WeChat for more instant responses.

Demonstration of the Conversational AI Training Excellence platform. Click to enlarge.
Demonstration of the Conversational AI Training Excellence platform

Digital channel usage has experienced monthly growth of 10-20% over recent months, as Cathay continues to add back more flight capacity.

Cathay Director Digital and IT, Lawrence Fong, said, As a company with more than seven decades in Hong Kong, we are committed to supporting local tech startups such as Fano Labs and innovating together to build our digital leadership a pillar for achieving our vision of becoming one of the worlds greatest service brands. This collaborative effort in Conversational AI technology is the latest example of how we can work together with startups to develop mutually beneficial partnerships and ultimately bring benefits and enhanced service to our customers.

To build an AI chatbot that provides a superior digital experience for customers, the most important yet challenging task is to find large volumes of high-quality data to train the chatbot so that it can understand what people are asking and why.

Such chatbot training is often time consuming and expensive, requiring human AI Trainers to look at historical data to see how customers interacted with the chatbot, manually extract, clean and annotate useful portions of this historical data, and then feed it back into the chatbot for learning.

To address these challenges, Cathay and Fano Labs have become one of the first in the market to have successfully developed and launched the Conversational AI Training Excellence platform that uses AI technologies to train AI chatbots.

The Trainer AI leverages Fano Labs Callinter product to analyse interactions with customers, including voice calls, live chats, WeChat messages, and WhatsApp messages, and automatically group these data into different categories for further processing, before presenting the results to a human supervisor for review and approval. The AI chatbot then learns from the data extracted by the trainer AI.

With this system in place, Cathay expects to reduce the time needed to train chatbots by 50%, meaning a regular 4-6 week learning cycle will be shortened to 1-2 weeks only.

Dr Miles Wen, Fano Labs Co-Founder and CEO, said, Fano Labs, a homegrown AI company, was founded with a mission to bring the best multilingual language AI technologies to our clients to generate business value. Our partnership with Cathay started in 2019 under the introduction of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. Throughout the past few years, we are honoured to be entrusted by Cathay to take part in executing the companys conversational AI strategy. This successful collaboration is a strong showcase of Hong Kongs thriving innovation and technology ecosystem.

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