Most people now carry a telephone with them at all times but rarely use it for telephoning. Instead, especially among the younger generations, communication with short texts is very popular – also referred to as “chat” in dialogue form. Many companies and organizations therefore already use online chat for customer communication. The Senator for Finance has gone one step further and has commissioned the Technology Center Informatics and Information Technology (TZI) at the University of Bremen to research a so-called chat bot that uses artificial intelligence to answer questions automatically.
Chat Bots Are Available around the Clock
Specifically, the project concerns the answering of frequently asked questions about services, such as the issuance of an identity card. The user’s inquiry is anonymously documented, analyzed, and processed in order to be able to optimize the Bürgerservice. The Bürgertelefon hotline employees will be involved in the project right from the start through workshops.
“We would like to improve the service with an additional information channel,” explains Henning Lühr, the Bremen Councillor of Finance. “The advantage here is that the chat bot will be available around the clock. The proven service of the Bremen Bürgertelefon will be retained.”
Technology Has Already Been Awarded a Prize
The University of Bremen scientists involved in the project rely on the IDA chat bot technology, which was developed by Nina and Dirk Wenig at the TZI and was awarded the CAMPUSiDEEN 2018 prize for innovation. IDA can largely train itself with the help of machine learning (ML) methods – for example, by analyzing information from websites or brochures. “However, the system also offers the possibility to control and expand the acquired knowledge in a targeted manner. In addition, it presents the learned connections clearly and comprehensibly on a website,” explains Nina Wenig. “Among other things, this prevents the chat bot from independently appropriating answers that would be undesirable when dealing with customers.”
Nina and Dirk Wenig have designed the IDA chat bot technology in such a way that it can be used for different purposes with comparatively little effort. By the end of this year, they want to establish a company that will further develop and market the innovation.
Read about Nina and Dirk Wenig in the current University of Bremen yearbook : www.uni-bremen.de/de/jahrbuch/transfer-weiterdenken/dr-nina-wenig-dr-dirk-wenig/
Dr. Dirk Wenig
Technology Center Informatics and Information Technology (TZI)
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218-64417
E-mail: dwenigprotect me ?!tziprotect me ?!.de