DG Lab to Unveil Open Platform for Interactive Agent Technology that Uses Artificial Intelligence

〜First initiative will be a chat-based restaurant search engine, made in conjunction with the restaurant review site “Tabelog”〜

DG Lab, a joint R&D organization operated by the three companies of Digital Garage, Inc. (TSE first section: 4819, HQ: Tokyo, Representative Director, President Executive Officer and Group CEO: Kaoru Hayashi, DG), Kakaku.com, Inc. (TSE first section: 2371, HQ: Tokyo, President and Representative Director: Shonosuke Hata, Kakaku.com), and Credit Saison Co., Ltd. (TSE first section: 8253, HQ: Tokyo, President and CEO: Hiroshi Rinno), has developed an open platform for interactive agent technology. Interactive agents are automated systems that use text and voice to create an interactive experience for users of smartphones, household appliances, and other devices. The new platform was developed in anticipation of a future where interactive agents are in the mainstream, supporting the daily lives of users through dialog. DG Lab will work with companies both in and outside of Japan to achieve widespread implementation. “We believe that the use of directory and keyword searches to obtain information on the internet will one day shift. In its place will be a system in which we access necessary information through natural dialog, via chat or voice, with interactive agents. By convincing a large number of corporations to begin using our open platform, we hope that we can accelerate that paradigm shift.” (Kaoru Hayashi, DG Representative Director, President Executive Officer and Group CEO)

For the first project employing the open platform, DG Lab has created a prototype restaurant search service using information from “Tabelog”, a restaurant review site operated by Kakaku.com. Utilizing artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology developed by DG Lab, users communicate their preferred location, restaurant type, and current mood via a chat format. The service then responds with restaurant information. DG Lab hopes to facilitate a wide number of applications for the open platform and help the spread of the interactive agent scene, leading to a convenient experience for more and more users.

DG Lab was formed in July, 2016 to focus on the fields that will form the backbone of the businesses of the future, including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence(AI), VR/AR, Security, and Biotechnology. By working with and investing in companies, domestic and international, that possess high-level technology in these fields, DG lab hopes to promote research that will become the basis for new products and services. The interactive agent technology that forms the basis of this project is one result of this research.

In the future, DG Lab will continue to work with a wide variety of companies and develop applications that take advantage of the open platform from many angles. These applications will include not only interactive agents, but also tools that lower the burden on call centers and much more. “DG Lab is an open innovation-based R&D organization. It works primarily with cooperating corporations, as well as research institutions, taking advantage of a collective pool of data and technology to develop services for the betterment of society. We look forward to working with a greater number of companies through this initiative, as well as the birth of new and convenient services for users to enjoy.” (Takehiro Miyajima, DG Lab CTO (AI), Kakaku.com Executive Officer).

DG Lab plans to introduce this prototype restaurant search service using information from “Tabelog” at an exhibition booth for attendants of “THE NEW CONTEXT CONFERENCE 2017 TOKYO”(http://ncc.garage.co.jp/)on July 25 and 26.

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