AI ‘elves’ from IBM Watson could help with your festive shopping

The E.L.F chatbot from IBM Watson and Satisfi

The E.L.F chatbot from IBM Watson and Satisfi

Artificial intelligence is getting a kickstart for the holiday season with an elf-themed chatbot launching at Mall of America.

E.L.F, or Experiential List Formulator, is an IBM Watson-enabled platform, created in collaboration with Watson developer partner Satisfi, which helps visitors plan a more personalised shopping experience. It understands and interprets their queries using the Watson Conversation API and AlchemyLanguage API, both through Facebook Messenger or online on mobile and desktop via elf.mallofamerica.com.

Visitors to the shopping centre in Bloomington, MN, are guided through a series of questions from E.L.F to understand things like how much time they have and what activities they prefer. The service then presents them a series of suggestions, including ideal stores, theme park rides and shows.

The pilot programme aims to better understand, connect with, and create superior experiences for in-store shoppers, according to Don White, CEO of Satisfi. Head over to Forbes to find out more.