Meet ‘Emma’ the new virtual concierge powered by IBM Watson guiding auditors through career development

Jan 26, 2021

Auckland, January 26, 2021 – IBM business partner, Replikr, together with global certification agency Exemplar Global, have created ‘Emma’, a virtual agent using IBM Watson Assistant that helps thousands of auditors globally navigate the vast number of training and career options provided online by Exemplar Global.

‘Emma’ represents the first phase of an AI strategy to scale personalised advice to Exemplar Global’s diverse and international customer base to a far greater extent than was previously possible. 

Exemplar Global CEO Andrew Baines, based in Cambridge, New Zealand, says that as the organisation registers higher demand for certification services, ‘Emma’ will enhance the customer experience for key industry players seeking information on professional development and training.

“We want to make training and certification more accessible and attractive, especially to new generations of auditors, without adding to the overall cost of using our service.  IBM Watson makes it possible for our relatively small organisation to scale up our services hugely using a digital concierge while improving the overall experience for customers as they develop their careers.”

He says that as Emma ‘learns’, she will in time become more integrated with Exemplar Global’s CRM and Learning Management Systems, offering optimised recommendations for training including conferences.

Replikr Managing Director Dr Peter Catt says, “IBM Watson Assistant is a trusted technology that allows Exemplar Global to service a large customer base with a very capable virtual agent, potentially speaking to hundreds of people from a range of cultural backgrounds simultaneously. Importantly, IBM Watson will also allow us to easily access information from other systems to improve the Exemplar Global customer experience.”

The implementation at Exemplar Global comes as IBM announced new capabilities for IBM Watson Assistant to provide a higher degree of precision in natural language processing (NLP) and foster greater trust in outcomes derived from AI predictions. These include:

  • FAQ Extraction which uses a novel NLP technique from IBM Research to automate the extraction of Q&A pairs from FAQ documents. Currently in beta form in IBM Watson Assistant’s search skill, it is planned as a new feature to help businesses keep virtual assistants up-to date with the latest answers and reduce time-consuming manual updates.
  • A new intent classification model is now available in IBM Watson Assistant.  It is designed to more accurately understand an end-user’s goal or intent when engaging with a virtual assistant and to enable administrators to train the system faster. The model provides more accurate results from less data compared to commercial systems. This can help businesses go live with virtual assistants in a few days while achieving high accuracy.


About IBM Watson

Watson is IBM’s AI technology for business, helping organizations to better predict and shape future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize employees’ time. Watson has evolved from an IBM Research project, to experimentation, to a scaled, open set of products that run anywhere. With more than 30,000 client engagements, Watson is being applied by leading global brands across a variety of industries to transform how people work. To learn more, visit:

About Exemplar

Incorporated in USA as a not for profit, Exemplar Global’s 25 person team operates as a virtual organisation, providing certification services auditors from more than 140 countries, including New Zealand, and in languages including English, Korean, Spanish and Arabic.

Media contact:
Mehpara Khan
Communications Lead, New Zealand
IBM Australia and New Zealand
Mobile: 021 375 748 

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