The Liver Building

Chatbots & Intelligent Advisors can help transform your organisation


Speaker: Hartree Centre

Date: Wednesday 6th March, 2019

Time: 8.30-10.30 and 10.30-14.00

STFC Hartree Centre
Sci-Tech Daresbury
Keckwick Lane
Warrington WA4 4AD
United Kingdom


This event is aimed at the Legal and Financial sectors. The event is FOC and will be split into two session, with breakfast and lunch provided.

08:30-10:30 Breakfast meeting and networking – Chatbots & Intelligent Advisors can help transform your organisation
Target Audience: Business owners, operations managers, customer service managers & practice managers

Chatbots & Intelligent Advisors are already seen as the future of customer engagement and can be key to improving customer experience.
They can help to streamline customer service and your customer interactions which will ultimately help improve your organisation by:
• Enabling your organisation to offer customer service support 24 hours a day
• Handling uncomplicated tasks, allowing call handlers to concentrate on more complex customer interactions
• Provide instant responses to your customers
• Making cost savings on customer service

10:30-14:00 Build-A-Chatbot Technical Workshop
Target Audience: Business owners, technology managers, IT professions & software developers & programmers

After our breakfast meeting, delegates will also have the opportunity to attend an interactive ‘Build your own chatbot’ workshop led by Gary Wilson, CTO for IBM’s Commercial business in the UK & Ireland. Gary will show you how you can use IBM Watson Assistant to quickly build a chatbot, taking you from conversational design concepts all the way through to deploying your first chatbot application.
No coding experience is required and you will leave the workshop with a working prototype chatbot, as well the skills and technology you need to start building your own.

Who are the Hartree Centre?

  • The Hartree Centre sits within the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and UK Research & Innovation, which falls under the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
  • Our remit from the UK Government is to accelerate the adoption of High Performance Computing, Big Data and Cognitive Technologies to UK businesses.
    • High performance computing – involves modelling and simulation to create a digital version, a digital twin, which enables us to make predictions and optimise designs and by doing so, we can dramatically reduce the design phase and time to market.
    • Big data analytics – involves taking unstructured data, whether its geospatial information, text or streaming data from sensors, and creating actionable insight from that data.
    • Cognitive technologies – are a learning and adaptive form of Artificial Intelligence. They enable machines to interact with humans in a more natural way, they learn at scale and reason with purpose. Cognitive technologies such as machine learning and deep learning are key to drawing rational conclusions from the right data, so you can implement decisions with confidence.
  • We are 100% focussed on collaborative R&D.
  • We have over 170 computational scientists, which include; engineers, chemists, life scientists and mathematicians who have a real understanding of the underlying physics and science behind challenges, and know how to use a supercomputer.
  • We also have software developers who are essentially optimising computer scientists, who write and optimise codes to be efficient on our machines and the data scientists who are able to manage and draw insight out of large unstructured data sets.
  • We can facilitate access to Government grant funding, which can finance between 50% and 70% of the collaborative R&D costs.

What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program or application that can simulate a conversation or “chat” with human users. A chatbot works by interpreting natural language queries (typed or spoken aloud) submitted by users and retrieving the right information to answer the query accurately.
Chatbots are essentially an automated communication system that can be integrated into websites, applications or instant messengers to help businesses serve their customers 24/7 and provide an immediate response to their queries. Chatbots can even be built with the ability to automate a digital task, such as blocking a lost or stolen bank card.

What can a chatbot do for my business?
Many businesses are already making use of chatbots to automate the first-line of customer support, as they provide an immediate improvement in the speed and efficiency of customer service interactions.
However, the opportunities provided by chatbot systems go far beyond giving simple responses to customer queries. They have the capability to collect more accurate information about users, automate routine tasks, support multiple languages and process multiple user requests at once.
All these optimisations lead to business benefits such as:

  • Reduced overhead costs
  • Faster response and resolution times
  • Increased productivity
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • More accurate customer insights
  • Increased market share

What is a virtual assistant?
Similar to a chatbot but with subtle differences, a virtual assistant can also understand natural language voice commands and act on these commands to complete tasks for the user. The intent of a virtual assistant however, is not usually to facilitate a customer service interaction but to enhance the knowledge and efficiency of an employee – assisting them by enabling them to access expertise wider than their own, automate routine tasks and maximise their potential.

You’ll already have a virtual assistant built into your mobile phone. Broadly speaking, these popular virtual assistants are built to carry out generic tasks relating to everyday lifestyle and personal organisation. The tasks can be anything from taking dictation and reading text or email messages aloud to checking the news and weather and activating smart home devices.

What can a virtual assistant do for my business?
When applied to a specific business sector or research domain, a virtual assistant can be developed with more specialist capabilities in mind. For example, rather than scanning the internet for answers, it could search and pull answers from proprietary datasets or reports your business holds to save time. Virtual assistants can also be designed to trigger specific tasks relating to a computer process, such as updating CRM details or triggering a computer-driven manufacturing process to begin.
By minimising low-reward or routine tasks and speeding up knowledge exchange, virtual assistants offer business benefits such as:

  • Reduced overheads
  • Increased productivity
  • Shared expertise and knowledge
  • Enhanced staff satisfaction
  • More consistent quality of service to customers