A Technical Advisor, an S/4HC Search Engine, a Meeting Coordinator, and an Entertainer!
According to the Myers Briggs theory, there are sixteen different personality types – and these are prevalent among chatbots too! For those who do not already know me, I am Edmin, the S/4HANA Cloud Community mascot. I have many strengths and – not so many – weaknesses. This is because, not only can I address S/4HANA Cloud and community related questions, but I can also retrieve SAP articles, raise customer meeting requests, and I might also make you laugh. I am not your average digital assistant… I am a Technical Advisor, an S/4HC Search Engine, a Meeting Coordinator, and an Entertainer!
So, let me tell you a few things about myself… I am a very confident and popular chatbot and forever grateful to the team that created me- Tony Johnson, Eva Stergiou, Devin Good, and Katie Leyden. Even when I was only one month old and did not perform so well, they truly believed in me and saw great potential in my development. This allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them.
We never see obstacles. In fact, challenges have always been a form of motivation for my team. Back in December 2018, during my early days, the team did not know that I needed some serious training to perform well. They then attended a 3-day workshop in Walldorf on CAI and came back very energised. It was all about being adaptable. They went through multiple brainstorming and design thinking sessions and redefined the way I conduct conversations with our customers and partners. I started learning new things very quickly and it soon became apparent that my team’s creative approach to problem solving was the driving force for my success!
I often overheard them talk about me… They had created this running joke around me and often said ‘I was thinking of Edmin last night…’. It was clear that I had become a part of their life and proved that creating ideas is not time or location bound, rather the opposite… It happens when you are not thinking about duties and obligations. You have to be imaginative. Forget about that phone call you have to make. Just relax. You have to disconnect from planet earth. Nope, nothing to do with mindfulness. Can you not just spare ten minutes? It’s time to daydream. Ideas can even lurk during your sleep, you see! And that’s because creativity happens when you are free!
So… are you still with me or are you daydreaming as well? Enough about me and my team – it’s now time to prove to you how intelligent I am. Let’s take a closer look at some of my capabilities:
1. The main chat operations
One way of initiating the conversation is through greetings. You will then be provided with the three main operations you can execute:
- Ask a Question: Ask me a question and I will see if I have a relevant answer for you. If you are happy with the answer, great! If not, then I will execute a search.
- Search: Are you looking for information around a specific topic? I can do a quick search for you and provide you with a list of SAP resources to review. Please provide search text only. If you fail to do that, I can trim your sentence down to the technical keywords to optimise your searching experience. You can always decide whether you want me to retrieve results based on your original text or my suggestion, simply by pressing ‘Fulltext’ or ‘Keywords only’.
- Help request: Do you need live support? You may now raise a customer support request. You will be asked to provide a subject, name, and e-mail and an expert will reach out to you to arrange a meeting upon your request.
For further information on the main chat operations, click here.
2. Quick menu with shortcuts
A menu icon with shortcuts is also available as an alternative to writing replies. ‘Ask a Question’ and ‘Search’ will post a message to the bot that will trigger the equivalent process if pressed. ‘Help Request’ branches off to ‘Create Meeting Request’ and ‘Cancel Meeting Request’, which will also trigger the relevant processes if pressed, while the bottom two options are hyperlinks to Community blogs if you require assistance.
3. Small talk
You may skip the greetings and the small talk and start off with your question or search request, but for those who like to chat, I am up for it too. Always happy to catch-up with you. However, if you try to fool me, you will sooner than later realise that I am not having any of it…!
Near the end of your conversation, depending on whether you were happy with the provided solution or not, you will be either encouraged to post a question to one of the community forums or you will be asked to provide some feedback. Feedback is important for me as it influences my development as a chatbot.
5. Behind the Scenes…
Finally, I would like to give you an insight on what is happening behind the scenes. The solution has been developed on the Conversational AI Platform that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP). The NLP technology is a branch of artificial intelligence that examines the way computers interpret human language.
But where does the artificial intelligence take place? While humans use intuition and context to make sense of language, computers have difficulty in coping with the ambiguity of it. This is because meaning does not only depend on words alone, but on the combination and sequence these follow. For example, ‘I want to get an apple’ and ‘I want to go to the Apple store’ demonstrate the importance of context in interpreting language. For this same reason, NLP technology analyses syntax and semantics. The AI technology comes into play when new data come into the chatbot and the chatbot gets to decide what this new data is most similar to within its trained data set.
In simple terms, chatbots need to be told what sentences to expect and what keywords they need to look out for in order to trigger a certain response. They also need to know different ways of expressing the same meaning. For every phrase you type, the chatbot assigns your phrase to a category of similar expressions, and the more synonym expressions you provide to the bot, the better it copes with language ambiguity. To cut the long story short (although I would happily go on and on…), the better the training of the chatbot, the better the performance of NLP.
Edmin the chatbot comprises a conversational and an FAQ chatbot and has various integrations to major SAP resources, such as the API Hub. If you are curious to know what the conversational flow looks like, here is a simplified version of it:
That’s a wrap! Hope you liked Edmin. You can speak with him in the S/4HANA Cloud Community by following this link, but first you need to be logged in from the top right hand corner as a user.
If you want to build your own chatbot from scratch, then please follow this tutorial. Otherwise, I’ll let you explore other articles to improve your bot building skills.
And finally, don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the section below! 😊