Telefonica, a mobile operator from Spain, has launched a new voice assistant named Aura. The voice assistant has launched in six countries and will be leveraging Artificial Intelligence to communicate with customers.
This announcement came on the eve of Mobile World Congress, almost a year after it had promised a makeover in response to technology giants like Amazon, whose assistant feature Alexa is a huge success.
Telefonica is currently present in 17 countries and will be offering Aura to countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Spain, and Britain.
Speaking on this occasion, Chairman of Telefonica Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete said, “A year ago we said we wanted artificial intelligence to be the basis of our clients’ relationship with us and we are delivering on our promise. Digitalization is the core of our business and thanks to the deep internal transformation that we have undergone in the last eight years we have become a company of smart platforms.”
However, the company does face a stiff competition from giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google who have demonstrated in using customer data to either sell products or services or to advertise them online.
Sources indicate that Aura won’t be technically competing but will be functioning as an app in Britain, Argentina, and Brazil. The assistant will run through a pay-TV platform in countries like Spain, while in Germany and Chile it will be available through a Facebook messenger.
In a statement issued by the company, it also said that by 2019, Aura will be integrated with Google Assistant as well as Microsoft’s Cortana.
Telefonica, which has invested 56 billion euros ($69 billion) in its digital upgrade since 2012, forecasted last week that sales would grow by 1 percent this year – slower than the high double digits achieved by U.S. players.