Re: Any Experience Here with Virtual Agents/Chat Bots? #AI #call-center

Stephen Bounds

Hi Rob,

Fully agree. Chatbots are definitely hitting 'peak hype' and it's sounding like a classic IT-driven project to me.

Being more charitable, I can see four reasons to choose chatbots over other existing interfaces:

  • Selective information visibility - lists of hundreds of items can be overwhelming to navigate. Chatbots hide information until it is deemed appropriate to present in context.
  • Conversational - the natural back and forth approach of conversation is highly intuitive to people, especially those less familiar with technology
  • Guided decision making - rather than putting the full cognitive burden for decision-making on people, chatbots can help people make the right choices without remembering all factors they should be taking into consideration
  • Visible history - chatbots maintain full past history of actions in the same window. This can be useful in some circumstances

Not all of these are equally compelling but I think they are legit in the right circumstances. It would be nice to know which of these IT has in mind :)

-- Stephen.

Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
On 26/01/2017 2:03 AM, Robert Bogue rbogue@... [sikmleaders] wrote:


Jamie –


Can I suggest that you have them define the requirements before building starts?  This feels like a “it’s cool” project rather than one that’s being pursued to address a specific objective.


If you start with what are the barriers or friction points that you hope to solve – and then drive into enough detail to identify the content that needs to be highlighted… you may find that you’ll end up driving the Chat bot with search in the first place.  If that’s the case, you could work on getting it so that search returned the right results.  From there if you still needed the additional interface of a chat bot it could be built…


You may not be able to stop this train but I tend to like train tracks down before I get the train rolling.





Robert L. Bogue

Find me Phone: (317) 844-5310  Blog:


From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 9:36 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Any Experience Here with Virtual Agents/Chat Bots?



Hello to all, 


Thank you so much for your very quick and thought provoking responses. 


Robert - yes, this is still my question as well. The only response I have today it that we are looking for a quick win as this will be in-house built (not licensed, etc.), connected to our various systems via APIs, and integrating a natural language service as well as AI agent. Regardless of what we do with the chatbot, I know that some processes, systems, etc. will need to be upgraded, fixed, etc. in order for this to gain traction, and widen its scope. We'll start small and then expand.


Stephen and Frank - great questions to ask as well. The project is wholly-owned by IT and will involve the participation of other departments in the future. My main concern is the collection, feeding, ownership of data, its related governance, analysis, and re-usability (decoupling). 


I don't have answers to all of these, but welcome any other comments/ suggestions.

Thanks again!


Join to automatically receive all group messages.