11 Facts About COTOHA Artificial Intelligence Chatbot


In Artificial Intelligence (AI) – 6 Things To Know For Now I explained why I thought Artificial Intelligence is as inevitable as it is revolutionary. Artificial Intelligence means being able to apply knowledge and energy exactly where and when needed. COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot is validation of the economics that drive the business interest in Artificial Intelligence. AI is not a magic cure for everything. It isn’t an evil enterprise come to compete for rule. Nor is this a lot of blind faith in market growth for artificial Intelligence start ups. But the wise are putting it to work and making sound economic decisions. If work can be repeated and made algorithmic then Humans need to apply their cognitive abilities elsewhere.

1. COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot Provides Seamless Contact

One of the ways COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot works in Japan is through seamless customer contact. COTOHA supports customer contact experiences via omni channel marketing and records experiences that become essential for acceptance of a chatbot. It interfaces with practically any connected device but can distinguish customers in time.This chatbot is poised to capitalize on aligning customer knowledge with anticipation of their actions based on past communications. Customer time saved in this scenario could result in easy to follow purchase advice.

NTT Communications has successfully brought COTOHA to market and it is employed in SMBC Nikko Securities. Nikko has implemented COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot with the expectation that its contact center staff will have a better work life balance. More towards the life in this case. I hope they come up with ideas on what to do with it! As efforts succeed with improvements to the operator training system customers will be able to have seamless access. Former human operators would do well to learn to work with their new partner.

2. Customers Like COTOHA Terminals And Robots

Another way COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot operates in Japan is through mobility provided in robotic form and the AI of the chatbot. Retail stores can benefit from new individualized greetings and help is granted at the entrances and throughout key store traffic areas. In this retail-scape COTOHA can be readily put to work assisting customers. Ones they will get to know and provide a more personalized experience than what traditional Japanese culture has strivedr to do.

I wish not for the superb level of customer service in Japan to be impersonated and possibly surpassed. Though it may have happened. When I visit I must find COTOHA in a store! I have had such a time trying to get things in Japan. I wonder how COTOHA would treat me with my crazy history of stories needing help in Japan. Always a drama until I got the hang of the language but it was always something new and took time to fix. With translation at the level it is today even I should not have troubles wherever I may normally find them.

3. COTOHA Helps Faster Than Human Help Desks

Memory, speed and vast amounts of data are perfect settings where COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot thrives. In help desks there are humans throughout. There are always too many other conversations you can hear than what it is necessary. Imagine just dialing a number, first ring and actual support answers. Unless you are a first time contact your history of support is instantly accessed by the time the “Hello” is complete.

The promise of real “Please understand my issue and fix it.” is near. COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot is employed in companies to provide speedier and less costly than human help desk support for IT and facilities related matters. The chatbot can register help tickets, prioritize them and assign assistance accordingly.  It also answers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Feel overworked? No problem. COTOHA may make it so you never have to worry about it again. Careful what you wish for.

4. Artificial Intelligence chatbots save time and money

That is true for the ones like COTOHA that have strong support behind them to make traditional customer interaction seem like a long ago art. That is true for the ones that have strong support behind them to make traditional customer interaction seem like a long ago art. Facebook messenger, Siri, Google Now, etc are the larger platforms and their artificial intelligence back ends are designed well enough to learn from experience. These best Artificial Intelligence chatbots are able to draw on large amounts of data to improve service with time and more importantly remember customers and the myriad of data that might apply to individuals and their history with a particular chatbot. These platforms are in the business of selling time. Efficient chatbot support equals time saved.

We do not communicate with help desks because we have an abundance of time. We do it because we have to and I am sad to realize the end is coming to conversations with support staff from far off locations who have this type of work for now. I enjoy asking about the weather and such. My advice to them is to start learning how to make and put Artificial Intelligence chatbots to use for you. We will all be better off with more time.

5. NTT Communications and COTOHA the Artificial Intelligence chatbot

Conversational bots is the service I recently found NTT Communications (Comm) providing. I had planned to profile NTT Comm first in this series of Japanese companies and their endeavors with Artificial Intelligence.

Disclosure: I was employed by NTT Communications (Tokyo, Japan 2000-2003) and have not had any affiliation with them since 2003.

I was not sure what I would find and then COTOHA found me. COTOHA is a chatbot capable of understanding spoken and written language and communicating with users with almost complete accuracy.

NTT Comm makes a major market move with COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot. It is serious and it is here to stay and get better. chatbots in Japan are ubiquitous but lack experience and many will not be able to build on the basic services or forms of entertainment they may be doing now. That is until NTT Communications put its resources to work with companies like IPsoft and Inbenta. COTOHA is the resulting interface.



6. What is COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot?

According to my definition outlined in How To Define The Artificial Intelligence Spectrum I would place COTOHA with reactive and limited memory machines in applied artificial intelligence. COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot is an intelligent communication engine capable of providing appropriate responses and business processing to customers. This chatbot is changing contact center operations by expanding acceptance of non human solutions to complex communication services. It is an example of how to integrate AI into a old business model. The infrastructure of connectivity has been in place and now NTT Communications customers can plug in Artificial Intelligence solutions.

COTOHA is more than a value added interface between businesses and customers. It is an acceptance of machine over human for routine. A clear note that high frequency work that might well eradicate the need for human contact service. COTOHA is expanding the scope of automated business processing and decreasing the need for human capital.

7. How COTOHA began

NTT Communications partnered with US company IPsoft for this Artificial Intelligence chatbot solution to understand and engage in human conversation. IPsoft is known for its artificial intelligence technology, Amelia ™  NTT Communications has combined the interface of Amelia with Corevo ™ the advanced Japanese-language processing technology of NTT Media Intelligence Laboratories. So instead of a blonde female chatbot COTOHA appears as a dark haired Japanese woman.

Through the partnership, NTT Com will offer Inbenta AI-engine-powered support, chat and support search services to the small business through enterprise markets under the branding of COTOHA Chat & FAQ™. The partnership, by applying Inbenta‘s unique use of AI to understand the semantics of questions and thereby informing the resulting search for answers,

8. The feminine model for Artificial Intelligence chatbot acceptance

COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot has a female persona similar to IPsoft Amelia and can converse in both Japanese and English. This follows the stereotype of a submissive Japanese office worker. COTOHA appears as a dark haired Japanese woman instead of a blonde female chatbot. In fact most of the chatbots on the market seem to have female personas. This may not last as bot makers place service and functionality above customer expectation of flirty or submissive gender specific support.

For now this model of submissive polite support bots may persist for cultural purposes in Japan. However, NTT Comm risks global acceptance of this service by passing its cultural norms through a modern support system. COTOHA is an example of taking a technological leap while holding on to traditions of male dominance and female submission.

9. COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot will help keep customers happy

NTT Communications is a massive company that has been able to thrive because of the value added Global One services it provides to its Arctstar Network customers. Customer satisfaction is paramount to the survival of this behemoth company and NTT Comm knows this is accomplished by knowing as much as much possible about its customers. This is a trademark of Japanese business practices which emphasize relationship and and trust building over all other considerations.

COTOHA can learn from experiences and over time increase efficiency in responding to customers which in turn keeps customers. If NTT Communications’ customers can keep their customers then NTT will stay in business.

10. What is really cool about COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot

COTOHA is a needed response for service development and enhancement. In markets saturated with connectivity the add ons is where new business development thrives. Plugging smart objects like COTOHA into the connected service of a manufacturer could prove to be early best practice for end to end complete automation service. Japanese customers have been learning for a long time to accept and make use of automation and robot assimilation.

I rode the world’s first Yurikamome driverless train in Tokyo Bay in 1995 and it was eagerly attended when it first opened and acceptance of driveeless trains became normal.Twenty two years later the intertwining of machine and human in Japan has become a side by side operation. It has been slow so far due to limitations in marketing and success stories but now they are happening with the capability to process enormous amounts of data from various media almost instantly to provide satisfaction to waiting customers.

11. Where COTOHA is going

COTOHA Artificial Intelligence chatbot can be adapted to other AI systems and that is what NTT Com intends to do.The chatbot will be used for its semantic search technology in its on customer contact centers. NTT Com partnered with Inbenta to develop and employ this solution and soon it will come to other contact centers. There are also plans to partner with consulting and customer relationship management companies to employ COTOHA.

NTT Com will offer Artificial Intelligence powered support chat and support search services under the branding of COTOHA Chat & FAQ™. How well it performs depends on several factors. The first is to consider the goal. The biggest problem that COTOHA solves is saving time for customers. The value placed on time saved will determine the fate of COTOHA and those it will replace. For it is all too clear that time saved in itself will find a way to earn the value it reaches. COTOHA will provide answers to more than those asked of it. 


Agent Terminology

Performance Measure of Agent − criteria that determines many and impact of successful actions
Behavior of Agent − action taken by bot once requests are received
percept − what the agent determines to be correct
percept Sequence − everything the agent has learned
Agent Function − the learning map from percept to behavior

Challenges to Artificial Intelligence chatbots (To be continued)

  • Insufficient
  • Implementation
  • User behavior change
  • Will humans stay in the loop
  • Market proliferation

More About NTT Communications

A grand company consisting of 25 Divisions that span the globe with connectivity and management services. It is involved in over 30 different internet and international communications businesses on its own and through affiliates. NTT Communications competes for the international connectivity service provision to domestic customers. NTT Comm’s operating revenue in 2016 was 1.28 trillion jpy. Its operating income was 132 bil jpy.

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