Chatbots and Virtual Agents

Changing the future of work

Way back in 1966, the natural language processing program, ELIZA,  played the role of a digital psychologist. This early chatbot was capable of “listening” to you as you shared your life story, delivering mostly coherent, yet vague canned responses to whatever you typed in.

Chatbots have come a long way since then. Many in the current generation are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), making them more powerful than ever.  And today, chatbots are used by organisations to listen to and respond to requests, find the answers to commonly asked questions, or even help us order a pizza.

Meanwhile, using our smart devices we can ask intelligent assistants, such as Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, to set up events in our calendars, dictate emails, play from millions of songs, turn off the lights, and more. And the more we talk to them, the better intelligent assistants get at understanding and serving us, thanks to AI.

Chatbot technology is becoming commonplace in our homes, on our phones and even in our vehicles – but what about in the workplace? Can they be relied upon to do some of the knowledge management ‘heavy lifting’, and if so, what will the future workplace look like?

I will be facilitating a breakfast briefing (08.45 to 10.15 on the 13th November) which will  explore the contemporary world of chatbots and digital assistants and their increasing utility for automating routine tasks. The session will include a demonstration of an enterprise chatbot developed by Norton Rose Fulbright (a law firm) for their staff, with details about how it was developed (no coding was required). 

The event is part of Workplace Week, and is co-sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright and Warwick Business School. Tickets are £32, which includes a sumptuous breakfast. All proceeds go to BBC's Children in Need charity. So, if you would like to hear more about chatbots in the workplace AND have a hearty breakfast, AND support a wonderful charity - get your tickets soon! Places are limited. 

Tickets available from Workplace Week


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