Lucy Richards
8 minute read

Digital First attended an event in WeWork Bourke Street to learn more about Artificial Intelligence, specifically chatbots.

Our passion is improving business processes that can benefit the business as a whole. We love to learn build upon our knowledge and seek out new ways that technology development can cause meaningful disruption. One process that caught our attention was chatbots, so we attended an event to learn more about the solution design and implementation process.

So what is it? A chatbot is a computer program that has an artificial intelligence system incorporated into it, which allows text conversations to take place between a live user. They are found on Facebook, Jetstar and many more websites. The reason that they have become so popular is down to the data collection which leads to better customer service.  

Chatbots are pre-programmed to answer simple queries, such as 'what time are you open?' or make orders e.g. 'small pepperoni pizza with stuff crust'. This allows customers to receive immediate answers which increases their brand perception. The data that the users input to these systems is automatically stored too, so the organisation can track what the most common search terms are and modify their interface to reflect this. 

Ingenious AI hosted the event and Mark Chatterton, from the company, began with the first speech. He explained that the organisation’s focus, is the creation of chatbots which use conversational interfaces and AI.

Chatbots enable customers to communicate with companies in a personal, human manner; in Mark’s words “create a great customer experience every time”.

He then went on to explain that, in every 10 years, there is a generational shift in interfaces, by giving the examples: the late nineties had websites (the ‘dot com’ boom), in 2008 Apple enabled apps to be launched on the iPhone and he even considered the future, stating that “30% of our interactions with technology will be conversational by 2018”:


The first guest speaker that took the stage was Marie NG, the Head of Digital Incubation at Bupa. Marie stated that she wanted to incorporate chatbots into the patient experience and make bookings appointments an easy task. The timeline was discussed and what was learned from this new project. She explained that keeping the task simple was key as this technology is not capable of many tasks, so there was a human handover on the bot. Marie expressed how difficult it was to get her internal team on board with this new technology and gain customer attention. However, these issues were all overcome and the chatbot became a successful tool to enhance the customer experience for Bupa.

Next up was Josh Volk from Sports Bet, and he had a chatbot created to enhance the user experience when participating in horse racing. Josh explained that his company went through many prototypes that all provided different information, he also added that at one point he was the ‘chatbot’ and was replying to the test audience. After all that research and testing, Sports Bet chose a system that would have a set amount of questions which were structured but still have the option to be personalised for a specific jockey/horse. This enabled accurate data to be given, without breaking the bot and it also gave the customer a unique experience with more specified information provided.

The final speaker was Andi Chatterton, the Head of Conversation Design also from Ingenious AI. Andi explained how important it was to get the scripts correct and relevant for each client.  The brand’s voice needs to be portrayed in each chatbot and it should create a persona. For example, a healthcare chatbot will be sensitive and use ‘healing words’ so customers do not panic about their current health situation. The Jamie Oliver chatbot uses GIFs, images and has humour in the text, mirroring the cheeky chappy persona Jamie gives out.

The whole panel then gathered together and held a Q & A session, using the audience interaction site, Slido, to monitor and rate the questions given.

Chatbots are a great addition you your website; whether you use them inbetween your staff changeover during the live chats or as a simple way to increase customer interaction. 

However, chatbots still have a long way to go; they are very limited in communication methods and this because they cannot sense human emotion. This means that they cannot be sensitive to a serious question or detect when someone is 'trolling'. 

The event was so interesting, the room was filled with enthusiastic people wanting to learn more about chatbots and how they can help their businesses. It was a great atmosphere and sparks of innovation were everywhere.

Digital First thoroughly enjoyed the evening and always love to learn about something new. We are keen to implement this into our site in the near future, a full report will follow. 

Do you want to use new technologies for your business but don't know how? Contact us today.

Lucy Richards

Lucy Richards

Marketing Manager
Lucy is the Marketing Manager at Digital First, she focuses on social media management, content creation and branding. She previously worked in the investment banking industry for over two years, but decided to pursue her dreams of travel and marketing; and emigrated to Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from the Glasgow Caledonian University in 2014 with a Bachelors degree in Entertainment and Events Management.