Chatbot harnesses existing components to boost service efficiency
The concept was initially developed at weekly workshops that used discussion and iteration to crystallise ideas into a final concept. The Defence Forces were able to start working on the proof of concept in agile collaboration with a familiar partner: Digia.
“Our initial challenges included conceptualising the new process and then considering how we could use text analysis and machine learning to our best advantage.” This was no traditional chatbot – we wanted more behind it,” says Vesanen.
Usability lies at the heart of the planned chatbot: when users detect a problem, instead of searching for the right report form, they will be able to freely describe the problem to the bot. With the aid of text analysis and machine learning, the chatbot will search a database for the correct solution to the problem, and then suggest it to the user. Thanks to its Q&A-style approach, the chatbot is able to solve some problems directly, which will reduce the number of tickets.
If a problem is not solved, the chatbot’s machine learning model will look for the correct service category and ask the questions required to create a ticket. The ticket will then be sent for resolution. The chatbot was constructed using components from the Azure cloud service, which the Finnish Defence Forces were already using.
Their close cooperation with Digia was smooth and pleasant.
“The agreed tasks were completed on schedule, resulting in a demo that was implemented on time and within budget,” says Vesanen.
So will the chatbot be sticking around?
“The pilot gave us good reasons to continue developing chatbots. We received plenty of input for our other budding chatbot projects, as well as new understanding and experiences that we’ll be sharing internally,” says Vesanen.