One of China’s largest international real estate websites, Juwai.com, is teaming up with a technology firm to offer new Mandarin-speaking robots for real estate agents to use with their Chinese clients.
Tech firm Singou Technology of Macau will design and build the “Butler 1” robots, which will leverage artificial intelligence to improve the more they converse with Mandarin speakers.
Juwai officials said the real estate firms could use the robots in their offices to help engage with Mandarin-speaking clients.
“The robots are really designed to help offices that don’t have a Mandarin speaker,” said Carrie Law, the CEO of Juwai. “In offices that do, the robot could assist the receptionist in greeting Mandarin speakers until the Mandarin-speaking agent or salesperson can come and take over.”
Juwai said the Butler 1 robots will first be introduced at select real estate firms as part of a pilot program, ahead of a full release.
“We hope to learn the practical things so we can ensure the robots can be most helpful,” Law said. “It’s also important to collect data on the kind of phrases and questions that are asked. This will allow the AI engine behind the robots to work better with consumers and on behalf of agents and developers.”
Law said that Juwai will release its first bunch of robot assistants over the next month, at a number of international real estate industry events it is attending in countries including Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.S. and the U.K.
Juwai hasn’t said which companies will begin using its robots first, but said it expects to have “a few hundred” of them available for sale in the U.S. by the end of next year.