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The Digital Innovation Lab: „From Zero To Chatbot In One Hour“

On Wednesday last week the third edition of our Digital Innovation Lab took place in Oracle office in Vienna. This time we put the focus on chatbots and digital assistants, especially on how artificial intelligence will affect our daily lives.

Three experts outlined the current state of technology:

Suhas Uliyar, VP of Digital Assistants at Oracle, sees current chatbots in their technological “teenager days”. Assistants which can interact proactively and using a natural language, will be what he calls “young adults”. It will take two years and more until AI “turns to life” and will lead natural conversations with us humans.

The development is progressing rapidly: Suhas demonstrated live that algorithms can already understand complex questions and provide corresponding answers. In the aftermath Suhas cited use cases where chatbots are deployed in social projects like drug prevention and caring for patient with mental illnesses. The results were impressively positive.

 

Robert Ginthör, CTO of the renowned Know-Center in Graz, took his 15 minutes to outline the state of research which goes back to the early 1950s. Currently, AI is developing on a rapid pace. The next level – the so-called third wave – will allow AI to increase reasoning, learning and perceiving abilities and increased handling of uncertainty (abstracting). Prerequisites are improved computing technologies, innovative algorithms and bigger data. Despite all progress, the challenge and risk are algorithms learning from bad human behaviour.

Herwig Straka, member of the ATP Board of Directors, introduced the first „Tennis Butler“ at the Erste Bank Tennis Open 500. The bot answers the load of phone calls faster and 24/7. Straka showed off the Tennis Butler in his voice edition with the help of Alexa: The bot answered questions from ticket prices to match results in detail.

During the so called “lab summary” the audience discussed the findings with the key note speakers. Although the audience agreed on the importance of chatbots helping us to improve communication – for example answering simple questions –, it was underlined by several discussants that the human being always must be in the center of technology and must not replace humans.

 

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