One of the main purposes of the annual Digital Workforce Summit (DWS) is to bring AI to life. We didn’t just want to discuss AI — we wanted to show AI in action.
To do this, we built the DWS Experience AI Pavilion — a collection of booths and displays featuring real-world IPsoft use cases presented by our clients and partners. Unlike other industry events, the Pavilion provided an unprecedented level of hands-on interactivity led entirely by client companies — ones that are using automation and cognitive technologies to make their businesses even better. This is the next in a series of posts profiling Pavilion exhibitors.
École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the world’s most prestigious hospitality management school based in Switzerland, has deployed Amelia as a digital concierge to help students learn about and book school tours. EHL used its presence at the Experience AI Pavilion to showcase its accomplishments and discuss potential future use cases.
In addition to managing guest Wi-Fi access and resetting student passwords, Amelia supports the student admission process by serving as the first point-of-contact for prospective students. In the past, EHL enabled prospective students to chat with human staff via a conversation box, but the chats were only available during business hours. EHL wanted to provide on-demand information access at all times and without requiring workers to answer the same questions over and over again. The school also experimented with a chatbot, but found that it didn’t have the sophistication required to handle the breadth of prospective students’ questions.
“The chatbot got lost very quickly,” said EHL Chief Digital Officer Julia Aymonier. “It didn’t have the process to answer all these questions like that, and the chatbot most of the time said, ‘Talk to somebody else.’”
During EHL’s Experience AI demonstration, the school showed DWS attendees how Amelia works as a service agent who can help prospective students find answers to FAQs, as well as book school visits and tours.
In the first demonstration, a prospective student goes to the school’s website and types a set of questions to Amelia, such as whether EHL’s program is accredited, what are the admissions deadlines and what documents are required during the application process.
Amelia provides answers to other related or tangential questions, including what kinds of topics should be addressed in admissions essays, what student nightlife is like and what kinds of jobs students are likely to receive after graduating.
As Amelia answers questions, the web page behind the chat can change to reflect the topic being discussed. For example: When a student asks about essays, the admissions essay page is loaded; when a student asks about jobs, a list of common jobs for graduates is displayed.
During the second demo, EHL illustrated how easy it is for students to book a campus visit. A prospective student can choose whether to book a tour with an admissions officer, a student ambassador or a parent. Amelia gathers basic information, such as the prospective student’s name, email address, admission status and nationality (in order to determine the optimal language for the tour).
Amelia loads a calendar and allows a student to select the date and time of his visit. Amelia even helps the student customize food orders to ensure for example a preference for vegetarian meals is met during the on-campus lunch.
Amelia is also able to pivot back to an earlier stage of the conversation, which means students can correct or edit previous answers, such as who they prefer as a tour guide or when they would like the visit to take place. Once Amelia has received a response to all necessary questions, she sends an email with the prospective student’s information to the admissions office.
EHL has created a dedicated Center of Excellence focused on scaling Amelia’s capabilities to other aspects of campus life. The team is comprised of five permanent and two rotating team members. One of the potential future implementations is designed to help improve cafeteria wait times.
For additional examples of how companies use conversational AI and automation to simplify business processes and empower human workers, be sure to read all of our DWS 2019 coverage.