Virtual recruiter on duty at Army Web site

Sgt. STAR is ready to answer questions.

GoArmy.com

'Sgt. Star' is prepared to answer prospective recruits' questions about joining the Army.

Sgt. Star is the new 'Strong, Trained and Ready' virtual guide on the Army's recruiting Web site. The feature is intended to appeal to site visitors who are tech-savvy.

'We've tested Sgt. Star for several months on GoArmy.com, and in comparison to the site without him, we've seen longer session times, excellent accuracy and increased questioning among users,' said Gary Bishop, deputy for the Strategic Outreach Directorate in the Army Accessions Command.

The metrics bear out Bishop's assessment of Sgt. Star's contribution. Since he debuted in August, users' sessions have lengthened from an average of four minutes to 16 minutes. And since the virtual guide was activated, he's fielded more than 500,000 questions, with a 92 percent accuracy rate.

Sgt. Star is a creation of Next IT Corp. of Spokane, Wash., and its ActiveAgent technology, which uses natural-language conversation and follow-up questions to provide personalized answers for each visitor. The software recognizes situation context, concepts and other information keys, allowing it to provide accurate information and identify the user's intent.

Thanks to his sterling performance, Sgt. Star has been promoted: He now has a spot on the GoArmy.com home page.

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