Chatbot technology up close

At the fourth “Early Bird Digital Breakfast” organized by Evonik Digital GmbH in Essen, the focus was on the topic of chatbots.

A chatbot is a text-based dialog system that works in real time. It receives both written and verbal queries and responds to these. Chatbots can also initiate actions and processes. This takes place fully automatically without any direct human intervention.

Jennifer Lierenfeld, Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft, and Christian Klasen, head of software development company Technidoo, gave an insight into the chatbot technology. The speakers talked about their own experiences and presented possible scenarios and application cases. Both, however, warned against excessive expectations: “A Lufthansa bot that is used for flight bookings cannot provide a weather report for the city of Essen,” said Lierenfeld.

At the end of the presentations, the more than 40 participants had the opportunity to find out more about chatbots in the Evonik environment. At four stands, Hülya Akgül from Site Management, Daniel Wais from Digital Labs, Luis Kösling from Employer Branding, and Viviane Winter from Evonik Digital, presented projects in which chatbots are already being used at Evonik. In the plenary session which followed, the discussion focused on how the communication between the chatbots works, and how chatbots are likely to influence everyday work in the future.

Digital GmbH has been organizing the “Early Bird” events since the digital unit was established in 2017. The goal is not only to provide information on current topics but also to network colleagues from various divisions with each other and with internal and external experts. “It is important for us to have many employees accompany us on our digital journey, and to inform and educate them in all things digital. The event format enables us to keep the content interesting and to scale the knowledge at a practical level,” explains Henrik Hahn, chief digital officer and managing director of Digital GmbH.