ChatGPT has certainly become embedded in the collective consciousness. On the one hand, it is rare for a technology product to gain such enormous popularity in such a short period of time (100 million users in two months). On the other hand, the solution created by OpenAI has gained such a huge public space that it somewhat overshadowed other, equally fascinating, chat bot-based solutions. Here is an example of an effective bot that was created based on SAP Business AI technology – her name is Basia and she helps the customers of Aquanet Company.
According to the analysis by Juniper Research, the chat bot market is expected to reach $12 billion by the end of 2023 and grow almost fivefold (by 470% to be exact) to reach a total valuation of $72 billion by 2028. This boom is fuelled, among other things, by the fact that companies around the world see the solutions that use conversational bots as enormous savings in extremely valuable resources – time and labour. Sortlist’s analysis shows that both employees and employers expect labour productivity to increase by at least 25% through the use of various AI-based tools, but predict that it could be as high as 50%.
Aquanet commits to a chat bot
Aquanet S.A. is one of the companies that decided to invest in chat bot technology, even before the ChatGPT boom. This company is one of the leading water supply companies in Poland – it provides services to more than 900,000 residents of Poznan District and several municipalities in other districts. Aquanet S.A. provides collective water supply and sewage disposal services. The company has more than 109,000 customers.
In the fall of 2022, the company completed the implementation of Sinch contact centre system in the customer service area and provided its customers with a new communication channel in addition to the telephone channel – live chat with a consultant. The chat was put on the website as an integral part of the new contact centre system and is operated by people working on the helpline. Depending on the selected topic of conversation, customers can chat with consultants from different operation areas of the company.
Meanwhile, in January 2023, as ChatGPT gained millions more users, Aquanet’s chat channel was supplemented with a bot – Basia, the Virtual Customer Advisor. This chat bot uses artificial intelligence solutions based on one of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) services – SAP Business AI.
What can Basia, the chat bot, do?
Basia, the intelligent bot, provides basic information and assists in finding solutions to the most frequently reported issues, such as reporting an emergency, water outage, signing a contract, connecting to the network, provides information on prices and tariffs, as well as direct debit. The bot also provides answers to our customers’ most frequently asked questions (FAQ).
– If the bot fails to answer a question, then the customer has the option to call a helpline employee and, in accordance with the rules of intelligent routing, is redirected to the relevant consultant. The bot’s knowledge base and the scope of assistance and service provided is constantly being expanded, informs Katarzyna Szram, Sales Director at Aquanet.
As the company reports, the premise of launching the artificial intelligence was that the bot should have human traits. That is why it was given the name Basia. Why exactly this name was given to the Aquanet bot? It reflects the fact that the majority of Aquanet S.A. helpline employees are women. In addition, great care was taken to make the bot’s messages and communication with customers friendly. For example, the AI bot greets the customer in the following way:
Basia is also a channel that can be used by foreigners who find it easier to communicate through writing than talking.
– Basia works well outside of helpline hours and on holidays. The implementation of artificial intelligence relies heavily on teaching the bot. You have to prepare a lot of phrases, which the bot recognizes as intentions and gives answers to according to the logic sewn in and the high probability of giving the right answer, explains Sebastian Tur, Technical Director of Comtrust Sp. z o.o.
Comtrust, an SAP partner, is responsible for implementing the chat bot using SAP Business AI solutions.
Ethics at the core of AI solutions
At the dawn of a new era of AI, SAP is reinforcing its commitment to embedding powerful AI capabilities across its portfolio to ensure that customers can solve business-critical problems in their daily operations and processes. Customers can use SAP Business AI without fear because it is developed responsibly. The ethics and regulation of AI solution development is currently one of the biggest challenges this segment of the technology market faces.
– The dynamic development in the Generative AI space has clearly shown that we urgently need international rules and guidelines for artificial intelligence. However, the formation of both EU and national legislation is an arduous process, which is why the technology sector already promotes self-regulation. At SAP, we were one of the first European companies to define ethical principles for AI solution developers. Back in 2018, we formed an AI ethics steering committee and an advisory panel of external experts from academia, politics and industry, which helped us map our course and monitor our approach. In January 2022, we launched SAP global AI ethics policy to clarify how SAP ethical principles are applied in our daily work. This is the foundation on which Basia was built, emphasizes Marcin Demkiw, Sales Support Director at SAP Poland.
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