Auckland AI project takes off as Callaghan Innovation offers up $150K funding boost

“This research represents a real opportunity for us to help differentiate ourselves in a competitive global market."

Auckland technology company Touchpoint Group has been awarded R&D funding by Callaghan Innovation to complete a new artificial intelligence research project.

The $150,000 R&D Project Grant will be used to fund Touchpoint’s ‘Radiant’ research project, which is investigating the way large businesses such as banks and utilities interact with their customers.

Touchpoint hopes to use Radiant to improve customer service by using technology to better predict customer needs and assist decision making when dealing with organisations.

R&D Project Grants are administered by Callaghan Innovation and are designed to support greater investment by businesses in R&D activities.

Touchpoint Group was formed in Auckland in 2001 and now provides customer experience solutions to some of the region’s largest financial, utility, insurance and consumer brands.

The Radiant program will run over the next six months and involve data scientists based in New Zealand and Australia - the team has assembled one of the largest data sets of its kind to simulate millions of discussions between virtual customers and corporations.

The data will be used to identify patterns in company behaviour that increase the likelihood of negative or positive customer experiences. Combinations of thousands of different behavioural variables will be tested as part of the project.

Frank van der Velden, Chief Executive Officer, Touchpoint Group says the grant would help with this complex task.

“Touchpoint is very grateful for the support shown by Callaghan Innovation,” he says.

Read more: Callaghan Innovation CEO Mary Quin resigns

"This research represents a real opportunity for us to help differentiate ourselves in a competitive global market.

“The problem with analysing customer interactions is that there are so many different variables that could come into play.

“Many businesses are often left scratching their heads wondering what went wrong, let alone how to fix it. We hope Radiant will provide us with some of these answers.”

When completed, the research findings will be used to extend the capabilities of its TouchpointCX Customer Experience software, as well as leading to the development of standalone products that will leverage a wide range of available data to identify the root causes of both poor and great customer experience – and to measure how these impact on commercial KPIs such as churn, revenue and loyalty.

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