April 2016. The two Swiss Thomas Schulz (Barcelona) and Maurice Codourey (Zurich) melt down their experience packages about healthcare in IT, communications and marketing into the @ShailaBot project. An algorithm designed to build a community, to open up the knowledge exchange. Maybe for a hospital, pharma, biotech, medtech, insurer or association in healthcare where there is a keen interest to have a promising contact to target groups – know about their needs, understand their questions, build up interactions, trust, market research and much more. We specified Shaila so far like this:
> Scanning for defined healthcare expert profiles in Twitter
> Inviting matching experts into @smarthealthlab, then into the Slack communityIntroducing new community members about the knowledge exchange, doing Q&A
— Shaila Bot (@ShailaBot) October 12, 2016
Shaila – smart health artificial intelligence lab activity – provides a data management and communication process which relates to a basic routine. We realized that bots (data management) and chatbots (dialogue) open a fascinating new world of automation. The re-loaded steam locomotive moment back in the very young 19th century. Sort of.
An immediate finding was to have clarity about the 24/7-work to be done by a bot. To implement smart texting to humanize dialogues. To think a lot of possible questions and answers. In different languages, to evaluate storytelling. And even do some text pieces in variants to loosen the static botic effect in the dialogue. And to find the suitable moment in the automated process where humans get into the action and deliver the enhanced service. So to bot or not to bot?
September 2016. We wanted to open the discussion with a conference. botscamp.co was born and inspired from the rapid success of Shaila – now over 700 followers in Twitter, some 1500 followers in the @smarthealthlab account, some 130 experts in Slack. Many interactions.
— Thomas Schulz (@thomaSchulz) October 13, 2016
We designed @SprkyBot to have an nonstop efficient invitation- and promotion-assistant to look for people to attend the first total online bootcamp for bots; developers, research, education… The no travel format offers reduced fees for participants and presenters, participants will vote for the sessions they want to see and hear via live stream.
> December 7, 2016, a six hours program starting at 16.00 CET
> Each session about 15/20 minutes and some extra for questions and answers
> We will provide a live stream platform login for the event
> Participants and presenters have an immediate access to our Slack community where talks between profile matches are supported by Donut.ai – bringing 2 people together, having a digital donut, enjoying a talk or exchange
> Communities welcomed to make the most out of that moment for experts and interested people – so far from Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Spain
> Information and registration: botscamp.co
Usability and safety. Our own botification showed us there is the chance for exponential growth with bots and chatbots. Within 5 weeks our @botscamp Twitter account reached more than 1300 followers. So far we already have 16 sessions in place and some first 30 participants before even starting the real promotion.
There comes responsibility with success and a lot of questions – can you control they maybe awakened huge interest and expectations for your service or product? Do you have the capacity to do the extra (communication) jobs not provided by your bot? What about the metrics, the security of members in your community exchanging private or confidential content?
And what about that Artificial Intelligence? Is the dialogue for instance enhanced with maybe a memory function – the bot remembers all conversations so far and is able to include this knowledge in future dialogues creating chats or talks with a conversational interface like Alexa from Amazon or Siri from Apple which feel like real?
— botscamp (@botscamp) October 12, 2016
Our take-home message today is still simple. The automation provided by bots and chatbots will shake up a lot of processes in data management and dialogue. There is no recipe to design the only one solution. The bot world is a galaxy. Apps could become an endangered species. Bot developers and the industries implementing bots have to do one step after the other. Always having a routined eye for the feasibility of the desired automation, be clear about what you want from the bot and for whom. Basically, put a professional concept and strategy behind. Then be impressed by the bot-power.
And understand that like in the steam locomotive times – some jobs were deleted like the Pony Express, new jobs arrived like the staff for the railway stations. Be ready to get botizised.