Nestle, JD.com unveil China's first AI nutrition assistant

Updated 2017-09-20 09:30:53 Xinhua

Global food and beverage giant Nestle launched its own artificial intelligence (AI) product with Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com Tuesday, in a move to meet the demands of increasingly tech-savvy Chinese consumers.

Nestle XiaoAI, an AI family nutrition assistant, is a smart speaker equipped with nutrition and health knowledge that can answer questions from users on custom recipes, music and nutrition.

The device is built into JD.com's best-selling DingDong smart speaker system, which was co-developed by JD.com and China's largest AI voice tech supplier Iflytek. A limited edition beta version of Nestle XiaoAI is now available on JD.com.

Nestle's AI attempt is part of a global trend to go beyond traditional products with digital services offering convenience, entertainment and education for healthier living, according to Rashid Aleem Qureshi, Nestle Greater China Chairman and CEO.

China is Nestle's second largest market with rapidly changing trends and the smart speaker will help Nestle keep their finger on the pulse of Chinese consumers by collecting and analyzing data, Qureshi said.

He said Nestle would keep upgrading the device based on consumer demand and looked forward to cooperating with more partners in this field.

China released a national nutrition plan for 2017-2030 in July, which encourages wider knowledge of nutrition and science through personal electronics featuring big data and nutrition.

U.S. analytics company ComScore estimates that by 2020, 50 percent of all online searches will be through voice and smart speakers, and that other voice interface technologies were set to revolutionize the way people interact.

"China's smart speakers and voice interfaces are still in the embryonic stage and it will take cross-sector cooperation to make multi-terminal and multi-scenario services possible," said Fang Lv, vice president with LingLong Technology Company, the joint venture of JD.com and Iflytek.

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