Real Estate Giant JLL Debuts Google-Powered Voice Assistant
JLL is rolling out a new digital assistant, JiLL to clients across its extensive commercial real estate holdings today. Built in partnership with Google, JiLL will start as a pilot program this summer before becoming more widely available in the fall.
JiLL is built around the idea of improving office life and making some of the more tedious tasks faster and easier to complete.
“We call it an employee experience app,” said JLL Chief Digital Product Officer Vinay Goel in an interview with Voicebot. “It’s not just about space. How you interact with space is a big motivator for choosing where you work. JiLL can make an office more attractive to top talent. Think of what a human assistant would do and how you interact with them. That’s what JiLL can do.”
Using a mobile app, users can interact by voice or tapping on the screen of their device. Once the app is open, users can say “Hey JiLL,” and have her set up meetings, order food, arrange service requests, or any of a variety of similar admin tasks.
Every JLL client will have a slightly different experience, customized to their needs and how they use the service. At the core, however, Google’s technology makes JiLL function. It is worth noting that the solution is not Google Assistant based but instead employs other Google technologies around speech-to-text, workflow, and natural language understanding.
“There’s configuration but not a lot of customization. We kept the look and feel fairly uniform, but with logos altered so we can scale more easily,” Goel said. “We leveraged a lot of Google technology. It’s built on Google Cloud Platform, and their Dialogflow API.”
Although JiLL uses Google software to operate, Goel said it’s ultimately built around the massive amounts of data that JLL has built up from across its properties.
“The software development is based on our unique IP and data. All of that data sits in systems we manage,” Goel said. “We are today not storing any of the voice. Even to deploy JiLL we had to go through some level of scrutiny to make sure we comply with [privacy rules] like GDPR in Europe.”
Future Lab Work
JiLL won’t be the only new technology JLL creates. Along with the digital assistant, JLL announced the creation of an in-house tech development center, JLL Labs. JiLL is the first creation of the Silicon Valley-based operation, but the company is planning to invest heavily in new technology that will enhance its larger services. The ultimate vision, Goel said, is to bring to the office all of the advances and improvements people have seen in technology at home.
“At home, people feel empowered to control everything with [voice assistants], but enterprise has lagged behind,” Goel said. “Consumer tech has been leading enterprise tech, and we need to bridge that gap. We want to empower life at work as much as at home.”