PLUS Malaysia introduces new AI chatbot PUTRI

PLUS Malaysia has launched a new chatbot named "PLUS Texting Realtime Interface" (PUTRI). PUTRI is designed to have interactive conversations through its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning model with PLUS customers, and over time, handle over 70% of the 1,500 calls which PLUS Traffic Monitoring Centre (TMC) receives on an average day. According to PLUS, majority of its calls are requests for standard highway information.

With PUTRI’s support, PLUS Malaysia looks to enhance its TMC service levels by allowing TMC personnel to focus more on emergency calls, conduct speedier and swifter coordination to assist customers in distress during traffic incidents. PUTRI also aims to provide faster responses and reduce the waiting period for PLUS customers. Shamsul Izhan Abdul Majid, chief technology and innovation officer, PLUS Malaysia said PUTRI will be able to attend to multiple and simultaneous queries pertaining to PLUS highway service, toll fares, real-time traffic information, inquiries on PLUSMiles, product, facilities, promotions as well as events.

PUTRI is currently available in its beta version and is targeted to be fully completed by Q3 2020. It can be found on PLUS' official website, the PLUSMiles portal, and PLUS mobile app. According to a press release, it will soon be made available on social media platforms and WhatsApp with bilingual capability. In a statement to A+M, Shamsul said PLUS Malaysia will be promoting PUTRI on its owned and earned platforms, and will be using digital PR to organically grow its user base. He added that it took the company has invested less than RM500,000 for the chatbot and took less than six months to launch it.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated our lives to become more digitally dependent and tech-savvy. The increase of bandwidth usage in the country and the world is a sure sign that we are embracing the use of more gadgets, and communication experience is more robust today. Hence, our PUTRI will provide real time interface to the thousands of enquiries on straightforward highway information,” Shamsul said.

PLUS Malaysia is not the only brand creating a chatbot. Last year in January, AirAsia launched its chatbot named AVA (AirAsia Virtual Allstar) which aimed to deliver a more seamless, user-friendly experience to airasia.com and the app’s 3.3 million monthly active users, from flight bookings to browsing for deals to online shopping and customer support. Earlier this month, AirAsia also unveiled the chatbot's evolution, a virtual influencer named Miss AVA. Present mainly on Instagram, Miss AVA posts travel-related content. AirAsia first teased Miss AVA in an Instagram post last December, wishing her happy birthday and saying: "The new makeover looks great on you and something's brewing. Lookout for Miss AVA in 2020!"

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