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SoftBank Corp. is set to launch a development project with Microsoft Japan to improve its call centers in the country by implementing generative AI (GenAI) technology, thereby transforming its customer support services.

The project will be implemented in phases and will start in July 2024. It is expected to optimize customer support operations across SoftBank's mobile, fixed line, and internet communication services.

The company also plans to build a state-of-the-art call center by utilizing Microsoft Japan's ‘Azure OpenAI Service’ to benefit from the full capabilities of GenAI.

SoftBank began their venture into GenAI in February 2023, initially piloting the technology as a trial. The positive outcomes of these experiments led to the extension of the use of GenAI to its call centers, acknowledging the capacity to greatly enhance the client experience in the face of the numerous regular tasks and inquiries managed by these centers.

With over 10,000 business processes, SoftBank's call centers manage a wide range of requests related to the several communication services it offers. The development project will focus on implementing large language models (LLMs) to deliver appropriate solutions to client inquiries. SoftBank's goal is to create an LLM-based autonomous thinking system that can answer client questions by dynamically accessing relevant functions and data sources, rather than relying on predetermined procedural instructions and fixed scripts used in traditional systems.

SoftBank will use extensive amounts of data, such as specific information on the services provided and patterns in operators' responses, to ensure precise and reliable responses. Through the integration of Microsoft Japan's ‘Azure AI Search’ with SoftBank's internal databases, customers can anticipate receiving prompt and effective responses to their inquiries.

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