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Kia Motors America has just launched an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant to help improve a buyer’s shopping experience, meaning those shopping for a Niro will have quick and easy access to relevant information.

Named Kian, this Facebook Messenger based assistant is programmed to provide customers with a treasure trove of information including pricing, payment estimates, specific offers, comparisons with rival models, vehicle inventory, local dealers and you can even access photos and videos.

Here’s a few example questions that Kian can answer:
Show me a SUV that gets at least 25 miles per gallon in the city.
Show me the current inventory at my local Kia dealer.
Does the 2017 Cadenza have more horsepower than the 2017 Acura TLX?
Show me Kia vehicles that seat seven people.

What’s more, Kian was designed to learn over time and perhaps even feel more human. "As more shoppers use the system, it learns to anticipate questions, provides more specific answers and gets smarter over time," said CarLabs CEO, Martin Schmitt.

We chatted with Kian a bit and it did answer straight forward questions like how much a Niro costs, even provided buttons for quick access to special offers, payment, etc. But it may not always give you a straight answer. When asked if the Niro was Kia’s only hybrid model, all we received was the model’s fuel economy rating.

For now it’s limited to Facebook Messenger, but Kian will soon be on the company’s website.
 

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Seems like nothing special... Nowadays, almost all mobile phones have Siri or "Okay, Google" services that can answer all your questions, not only about Kia, but about absolutely everything.
 

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It's a bit freaky to me and I'm sure they're keeping a record of everything. How else will the assistant learn over time if not from our data?
I'd rather stick with the old method of forums and the automaker's own spec page.
 

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It's a bit freaky to me and I'm sure they're keeping a record of everything. How else will the assistant learn over time if not from our data?
I'd rather stick with the old method of forums and the automaker's own spec page.
I don't think that there is something to worry about, I mean they don't collect any personal information except you Name, DOB etc. which they already have. You can't even imagine how much of personal information car makers have about their clients, so I don't think that it's the way to get more of it.
 
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