Mar 16, 2020| Features How JD’s Idea of Chatbot Services Customers Smartly


by Yuchuan Wang

A feature story about JD was posted on, the top site for the payments industry which covers news related to payments, commerce, and connectivity, on March 13th.

The article is titled “How Uses AI To Connect Consumers With Commerce” and is based on an interview between PYMNTS’ founder Karen Webster and Dr. Xiaodong He, deputy managing director of JD AI Research and head of the Deep Learning, NLP and Speech Lab at

The article mainly highlights JD’s efforts in smart customer service which is powered by AI. “From a baseline of better connectedness, has been able to build AI that doesn’t just understand customers’ questions well enough to give them right answers. It understands them well enough to respond to their feelings — and curate the content they see.”

Dr. He explained the thinking behind the technology: “With our idea of empathic chatbots, we want it to be that requests made in text or by voice, we definitely provide the answer, but we also try to give some empathetic response.” With multimodal chat interface, JD’s smart customer service chatbot is able to detect the subtlest human emotions and interact appropriately. It has already helped JD improve the user satisfaction by 57 percent.

The article also highlights JD’s efforts in “curating consumers’ desires”. Apart from JD’s visual search technology SnapShop which “is an arena where a single snapped image can be fed by a customer into the system to have it run through the whole system against the entire inventory catalog at JD to find a match”, JD’s team is also working on a project called “Alpha Sale” which provides “a digital sales agent that acts like a personalized assistant to help every single customer, and to help every single product.”

Dr. He says, “It’s a big job and not an easy project, but among the benefits of having a fully-connected, fully-integrated eCommerce ecosystem that flows between online and offline transitions as a baked-in component is that it isn’t an impossible goal either.”

He goes on to mention: “AI itself is probably not the magic tool to make a big change in the experience that it can be made out to be. There’s some basic infrastructure that has to lie underneath it, and some pretty advanced connections actually, which is actually very important.”

Based in the US, PYMNTS is the No.1 site for the payments industry by traffic and the premier source of information about “what’s next” in payments and commerce.