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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 3, 2007 at 5:50 PM

Spokane software company “Stars” on Army site

An interactive “virtual assistant” on the U.S. Army’s recruiting page was created by Spokane software company Next IT.

Dubbed “Sgt. Star,” the feature uses natural language conversation to answer questions from visitors. In addition to the common chat window, Next IT’s “ActiveAgent” software displays an avatar who speaks the answers that are also displayed in text.

Next IT’s press release quoted IDC analyst Sue Feldman saying that the ActiveAgent technology “goes far beyond the typical search engine. People speak in words, not numbers. They need to carry on a dialog in order to find things out.”

Since August Sgt. Star has received more than 500,000 questions and answered with a 92 percent accuracy rate, the company said.

Time for a Celebrity Deathmatch with Clippy and Jeeves.

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