Olaplex takes hair care digital with AI employee

Something for the weekend: Have you ever wanted a digital version of you to do your job instead? Are you a fan of the idea of shopping without having to talk to another human being? If so, you are in luck, as hair care business Olaplex has introduced an artificial intelligence (AI) powered virtual employee in order to build an emotional connection with customers.

The non-binary virtual human, which uses the pronouns she/he/they and represents both the label and its brand advocates, will engage in conversation and speak one-way to customers to make announcements regarding product launches and existing product information, as well as answering questions about order locations and details on the brand’s carbon footprint in the near future.

According to the business, the debut of the AI employee, whose name will be either Cigi, Kai or Rumi, signifies a step in its aim to build emotional connections at scale with a wider audience.

JuE Wong, chief executive officer of Olaplex, explained that to create the virtual employee she worked with Tangent AI, combining the images and “emotional quality” of 240 brand advocates and employees into one composite character, with a synthesised voice, pitch and accent that represents the Olaplex team.

Wong added: “When you look at that virtual human, you see parts of yourself in it. Consumers like to look at a brand and see themselves reflected in it. As brands grow, what happens is they’re seen as a brand and less of a soul … [This is] a juxtaposition: to use technology to allow us to be more human, because we can reach more people.”

She added that Olaplex expects synthetic intelligence, knowledge and machine studying to play an even bigger position in its future and higher understanding its shopper base.

At Employee Benefits, we love the idea that this AI has been created by bringing Olaplex employees together as a composite, showing that while the brand is moving into a fascinating tech-driven future, it is still the people who make a business. We can’t wait to see what the next great innovation might be!