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Natalia Konstantinova

Architecture Lead in AI

BP

Conversational AI: Pathway to Success

Conversational AI is a powerful technology and can deliver great results if used appropriately. In this talk we would discuss which types of interactions and projects are more suitable for Conversational AI and which are not. We will also cover some recipes to deliver a successful Conversational AI such as attention to conversational design, smart use of data and tracking the right metrics.

- The types of interactions suitable for conversational AI 
- Recipes to deliver a successful conversational AI 
- Smart use of data and tracking the right metrics 

Natalia Konstantinova is a great enthusiast with over 15 years' experience in the application of Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, IT and machine learning technologies to real world problems. 

She is currently a Staff Data Scientist at BP and her role is to develop standards and best practices to accelerate the adoption and implementation of AI enabled solutions, and doing so with the right level of compliance and standards within BP.  

Natalia got her PhD from the University of Wolverhampton and worked in various fields such as machine translation, ontologies, information extraction, dialogue systems and chat bots. Natalia is a strong believer that modern technology can transform businesses and our everyday life.

Ross Parkes

Product Owner - Automation

HomeServe USA

Providing a Self-Serve environment for Customers through Conversation AI, combined with smarter routing to enable the right agent for the right Customer

Diagnosing an issue in a Customer’s home to deploy an engineer can be a complex query.  HomeServe has used conversational AI to diagnose a customer’s issue with only two or three questions, resulting in a more efficient conversation.  HomeServe has been able to automate 15-20% of its deployed claims and service requests in the UK and USA.  Utilizing whispers and screen pops, successful triaging of a customer’s issue has led to over 30 seconds saved in handling time. 

Expanding outside the claims experience, in this talk, we will explore the other conversational bots HomeServe has created to improve the performance of its marketing campaigns through smarter call routing and rich data insight.

- Diagnosing a customer’s issue with only two or three questions

- Reducing handle time through improved call segmentation

- Creating data rich operational insight

Ross has been the lead for HomeServe UK in designing the intent model that sits behind Hana, creating a model that has intents for household claims and customer service interactions.  More recently Ross has moved to the USA team to help improve the existing bot Charlie and launch conservational AI into other channels such as Sales and the Contractor Network.  Data is important and key to success of any automation program, tools like Looker, Power BI have helped Ross bring to the business rich data insight.  Prior to the automation program Ross has experience with more mature contact center telephony technology, designing and maintaining DTMF IVR’, with a background in operation planning and call forecasting.

Jyoti Mishra

Senior Data Scientist (NLP)

Peakon, A Workday Company

Setting up AI Agents For Success: Defining the Right Metrics

With technical advancement in conversational AI moving at a dizzying pace, it can get overwhelming for businesses to make the right bets and receive the best possible return on their investments. In this presentation, I look forward to sharing some insights on how to approach this by selecting the right outcomes and tracking the right metrics. New AI advancements often create a lot of excitement in tech enthusiasts and early adopters but may also make a lot of conservative business leaders uncomfortable at the thought of investing in such technologies that have a level of uncertainty associated with it. Does the recent innovations in the space of Conversations AI like OpenAI's ChatGPT improve the success rate of conversational AI technology?

- Removing the overwhelming feeling of new technical advancements in conversational AI 
- Selecting the right outcomes and tracking the right metrics 
- Does the recent innovations in the space of conversations AI improve the success rate of conversational AI technology? 

With around 10 years of experience in tech Industry and most of those years focused on Natural Language Processing (NLP) ranging from but not limited to semantic search, conversational AI, knowledge graphs, ontology development, recommendation engines, Jyoti has worked with companies ranging from very early stage startups to big multinational organisations. Jyoti is a T shaped professional and has worn different hats while solving NLP problems ranging from User Research, Product Management, Roadmap Development, Key Metrics Identification, Data Governance, Data Quality and Integrity, Data Security to implementing latest research papers in NLP domain, productizing cutting edge NLP solutions, working on backend engineering to implement NLP models, DevOps, MLOps, Data Engineering and ML/NLP Engineering. Jyoti has enabled non technical teams and stakeholders to make informed decisions throughout NLP product lifecycle to make efficient use of resources. She has also worked along side Legal, Privacy, Security, Marketing, Competitive Intelligence teams to enhance user privacy and also attain a leading position in the market.

Sakis Athanasiadis

Lead Data Scientist

IKEA

Can We Transformers Help Transform IKEA?

At Ingka IKEA we are utilizing AI in order to build the digital equivalent of the “IKEA store experience” for our digital channels, while committing to transparency about how we use data and AI. Although still work in progress, in this presentation I aim to take you through our efforts in harnessing the power of large language models in order to unify our digital services, enhance AI explainability and make our employees’ furniture knowledge accessible in all our channels. At Ingka Ikea we are utilizing AI in order to build the digital equivalent of the “Ikea store experience” for our digital channels, while committing to transparency about how we use data and AI. Although still work in progress, in this presentation I aim to take you through our efforts in harnessing the power of large language models in order to unify our digital services, enhance AI explainability and make our employees’ furniture knowledge accessible in all our channels.

- Harnessing the power of large language models 
- Enhancing AI explainability 
- Utilising AI to build the digital equivalent of the “IKEA store experience” 

Sakis is a Lead Data Scientist at IKEA, where he focuses on using machine learning for internal search. Previously, Sakis worked as a Data Scientist for both Addidas and Philips.

Beatriz Lopez Mencia

User Experience Manager

Vodafone

Designing the Experience of a Global Digital Agent

Live across 15 markets, and with chat and voice capability spread across 7 channels, averaging over 300 million conversations per year, TOBi is Vodafone’s flagship digital agent. While its name and brand is similar across Vodafone, Tobi capabilities, implementation, behaviour and look and feel varies in the different Vodafone local markets.

As TOBi scales and matures, it is now more important than ever to align TOBi’s experience and design across all markets, so that the experience and dialogue is consistent, expert, and meets the needs of our customers wherever they are in the world.

From the creation of an Experience Framework to the establishment of a central repository of visual components, in this presentation we will go through the work we are doing to address this challenge at Vodafone.

- Addressing the challenges at Vodafone 
- How TOBi differs across Vodafone local markets 
- Creating a consistent experience and dialogue to meet the needs of customers 

Beatriz Lopez Mencia is a User Experience Manager in Vodafone Group. At Vodafone she manages the design of a wide variety of global digital consumer products, from the My Vodafone App to the Digital Assistant TOBi.

Trained as a Telecommunications Engineer and with a PhD in Human Computer Interaction, she has more than 10 years of experience working in the User Experience industry. Previously, Beatriz worked 7 years in Research and Innovation at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Her research career was focused on Speech Technologies, Voice Interaction Design and Embodied Conversational Agents.

With passion both for technology and user experience, Beatriz advocates for a more human, relevant and inclusive technology industry.

Jordan Anglin

Customer Experience & Management Lead

Vodafone

Designing the experience of a global digital agent

Live across 15 markets, and with chat and voice capability spread across 7 channels, averaging over 300 million conversations per year, TOBi is Vodafone’s flagship digital agent. While its name and brand is similar across Vodafone, Tobi capabilities, implementation, behaviour and look and feel varies in the different Vodafone local markets.

As TOBi scales and matures, it is now more important than ever to align TOBi’s experience and design across all markets, so that the experience and dialogue is consistent, expert, and meets the needs of our customers wherever they are in the world.

From the creation of an Experience Framework to the establishment of a central repository of visual components, in this presentation we will go through the work we are doing to address this challenge at Vodafone.

- Addressing the challenges at Vodafone 
- How TOBi differs across Vodafone local markets 
- Creating a consistent experience and dialogue to meet the needs of customers 

 

Fang Xu

Senior Data Scientist/AI Expert

Deutsche Telekom

Leveraging Question Answering for Enhancing Human-Computer Interaction in Voice platform

Question answering technology has the potential to improve customer service by providing instant and accurate answers to inquiries. In this talk, we will explore the latest developments in question answering technology, including the use of large language models and neural networks, and how we build German question answering services for our voice platform. In this talk, we will discuss the benefits of using question answering, as well as the challenges and limitations of current technology.

- Question answering system for a voice platform
- Is multilingual better than mono-lingual models for NLP ?
- Challenges and limitation of current technologies

As a Senior Data Scientist at Deutsche Telekom, Fang Xu specializes in AI technologies for Natural Language Processing (NLP). Having completed his Ph.D in the field, he brings extensive project experience to the table, having worked on a wide range of topics such as question answering, text ranking, and chatbots development. Most recently, he worked on question answering systems for Telekom's Magenta voice speaker and platform. He is not only involved in ideation and research, but also in bringing these ideas to life, taking them from early prototypes to scalable production.

Aaron Brace

Conversational AI Analyst

Yell

Chatting Up a Marketplace with Conversational AI

As Yell (formerly Yellow Pages) evolves into an online marketplace where businesses and customers can connect, our virtual assistant Hartley exists in many facets of our ecosystem. Hartley can be customer or business-facing; can answer Yell account and product queries, support interactions with our marketplace, and facilitate conversations between customers and businesses, as well as with Yell’s customer care agents. Yell’s Conversational AI team are taking a data-first approach, using a unique blend of Conversational AI tools by LivePerson, HumanFirst and OpenAI to help Hartley develop and integrate further into our ever-growing marketplace.

- Experiment with AI for non-traditional applications 
- Don’t be afraid to use third-parties for specialist resources 
- Design a data-centric monitoring system for all new features, and always have a backup plan 

In the past decade, Yell (formerly Yellow Pages) transitioned from printed telephone books to an online directory - and now, its evolving into a marketplace where businesses and customers can connect. We're building a messaging-focused ecosystem, and our virtual assistant, Hartley, is adapted for several use-cases across the Yell website and app, and is available on web, by SMS, and some native in-app messaging channels.

A Conversational AI Analyst at Yell, Aaron has a Master’s in Data Science and focuses on how data and insights gathered from Hartley’s interactions with users can be used to tackle pain-points and improve customer experiences.

 

Andrew Watkinson

Conversational AI Analyst

Yell

Chatting Up a Marketplace with Conversational AI

As Yell (formerly Yellow Pages) evolves into an online marketplace where businesses and customers can connect, our virtual assistant Hartley exists in many facets of our ecosystem. Hartley can be customer or business-facing; can answer Yell account and product queries, support interactions with our marketplace, and facilitate conversations between customers and businesses, as well as with Yell’s customer care agents. Yell’s Conversational AI team are taking a data-first approach, using a unique blend of Conversational AI tools by LivePerson, HumanFirst and OpenAI to help Hartley develop and integrate further into our ever-growing marketplace.

- Experiment with AI for non-traditional applications 
- Don’t be afraid to use third-parties for specialist resources 
- Design a data-centric monitoring system for all new features, and always have a backup plan 

In the past decade, Yell (formerly Yellow Pages) transitioned from printed telephone books to an online directory - and now, its evolving into a marketplace where businesses and customers can connect. We're building a messaging-focused ecosystem, and our virtual assistant, Hartley, is adapted for several use-cases across the Yell website and app, and is available on web, by SMS, and some native in-app messaging channels.

Andrew joined Yell’s team of Conversational AI Analysts after completing a Master’s in Computer Vision. His focus is on NLU performance and introducing new conversational technologies into our workflow to improve perception of Hartley’s intelligence.

Ben Hazel

Senior Chatbot Conversational Designer

Admiral Group Plc

Conversation Designers Are Everywhere: How hiring internally helped Admiral focus on a more technical build

With technologies becoming more advanced we had to build our chatbots to keep up, while also fulfilling the customers needs.

By hiring most of the team internally, this helped us focus on a more technical build as we brought in individuals who already understood Admiral’s goals and objectives, and the processes behind customer’s queries. This in turn helped streamline the design and build of our bots to the companies’ vision and customer’s needs.

It empowered the whole team to learn themselves how to re-build a chatbot better, sleeker and a design that can be re-used across multiple chatbots.

- Employing experienced staff members from within has allowed us to accelerate our conversation design and service capability within the bots 
- Allowed us to focus on learning the tech side to build better chatbots and scale up 
- “People who like what they do, do it better” - Admiral’s culture of enriching the staff to develop whilst also striving and maintaining excellent customer service has helped us make sure we are getting better all the time at building better chatbots 

Senior Chatbot Conversation Design working specifically with Dialogflow ES & CX and LivePerson's conversation builder. Worked in customer service for 12 years previously.

Rahul Agrawal

Senior Director AI

ShareChat

Persuasive Ads: Conversational AI meets Computational Advertising

Conversational AI has enabled interesting human computer interaction scenarios. In this talk we discuss one such unique solution space where we leverage conversational AI to personalize to the users and deliver unique advertising interfaces to them. The current applications of conversational AI focuses on applications where humans initiate a conversation with a specific query in mind. We extend conversational AI to scenarios where computers can initiate a conversation with humans and deliver advertising messages back to them. We focus on unique challenges that confront such a system and how we can leverage signals from user interactions to model latent intent of the users and orient them towards task completion.

- How to model task completion through conversations 
- How to model latent intents and conversation starters 
- Impact of modeling relevance of conversation along with objectives around task completion 

Rahul Agrawal is a senior director AI at Sharechat where he leads a team of 40+ machine learning engineers and scientists to build the computational advertising platform. Prior to Sharechat, he has worked at Meta, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo! Labs, and Veveo. He has 18+ years of experience in building large scale recommendation systems, natural language understanding/generation, computational advertising, and large scale ML on graphs.

Somnath Biswas

Head of Product - Conversations

TotalJobs

Use of Large language models for better Job Search through conversations

Job Search, when compared to most other online activities, has a vastly higher potential of being life altering and is usually in equal measure a lonely activity. The use of conversational AI, especially the inclusion of Large Language Models ( for instance GPT-3/ChatGPT models, Sparrow, Blender Bots etc), allows for the automated job search conversations to be far more engaging, supportive, and personalized compared to traditional interfaces. Large language models, however present their own challenges as in terms of fine tuning with enterprise specific data, hallucinations hindering reliability and cost. Some practical work arounds exit, but for now only certain use cases will see inclusion in Enterprise grade solutions. However, conversational interfaces in JobTech domain are bound to see significant progress in the future.

- Why conversational AI is best suited for JobTech given the unique nature of job search which requires multiple engagements and has softer aspects inherently entrenched. 

- Contemporary Large Language Models, a quick comparison of the same and top use cases from a Job Tech perspective – with insights from our implementations

- Key challenges faced when building Enterprise grade solutions using Large Language Models and potential work arounds explored by us.

Somnath Biswas has been working on enterprise and retail digital products for the past 20+ years, working with Tier 1 consultancies and multiple startups including his own in the enterprise conversational AI space. His products have spanned across Telecommunications, Financial services, Healthcare, Regulatory & Compliance and JobTech domains. For the past 6-7 years he has been building core ML and NLP products for the likes of NatWest, IQVIA, Amazon and most recently with the TotalJobs Group, where he heads the conversational products domain.

Michael McTear

Emeritus Professor

Ulster University

Exploring the Future of Conversational AI: Traditional Design and Generative Approaches

As Conversational AI continues to evolve and become more prevalent in our daily lives, it is important to examine the different approaches that are being taken to design and develop these systems. In this talk we will review two different strands of conversational AI: traditional conversation design and generative AI. The first part of the talk will outline the strengths and limitations of each approach and discuss their potential risks and challenges. In the second part we will explore some of the exciting possibilities of generative AI, including its potential to revolutionize application areas such as customer service, healthcare support, and content creation. The talk will conclude with a brief look at how traditional approaches based on best-practice guidelines are being combined with approaches based on generative AI in a large R&D project in which I am currently involved.

- There are two distinct strands in conversational AI, one employing traditional methods of conversation design and development based on best practices, and the other based on recent advances in generative AI in which large language models are trained to generate conversations automatically.

- Both approaches have strengths as well as limitations and it is important to consider these issues when developing a conversational assistant.

- Generative AI is an exciting new development in conversational AI that has the potential to revolutionize our approach to developing more powerful conversational assistants.

Michael McTear is an Emeritus Professor at Ulster University with a special interest in spoken language technologies. He has been researching in the field of spoken dialogue systems for more than 20 years and is the author of several books, including Spoken Dialogue Technology: Toward The Conversational User Interface (Springer, 2004), Spoken Dialogue Systems (Morgan and Claypool, 2010), with Kristiina Jokinen, The Conversational Interface: Talking to Smart Devices (Springer, 2016), with Zoraida Callejas and David Griol, and Conversational AI ( Morgan & Claypool 2020). Michael has delivered keynote addresses and tutorials at many academic conferences and workshops, including SpeechTEK, Conversational Interaction, ProjectVoice, REWORK AI Assistant Summit, the European Chatbot Conferences, and the Altrusia Conversational AI and Customer Experience Summits. Currently Michael is involved in several research and development projects investigating the use of conversational agents in socially relevant projects such as mental health monitoring and home monitoring of older adults.

Jon Howard

Executive Product Manager (AI, Machine Learning, Data and Innovation)

BBC

Safeguarding and Duty of Care Requirements for Conversational Interfaces

The proliferation of conversational AI technology is transforming the way we interact with machines and access information. However, as its usage becomes more prevalent, it is imperative that we consider the implications on user's safety and privacy. This session will cover the necessary facets of safeguarding and duty of care with regards to conversational models. The importance of privacy and data protection, the need for transparency in AI systems, the potential for bias and discrimination, the requirement for explainability, the need for safety, the role of human oversight, and the importance of continuous monitoring - by understanding these key aspects, we can ensure that systems are used responsibly and ethically.

- The ethical considerations

- Practical steps that should be taken

- The core principles to apply that will ensure that conversational interfaces are employed in a safe and responsible manner.

Jon is an Executive Product Manager for BBC Children’s and Education with a responsibility for bringing the benefits of new technologies to young audiences. He has worked with AI, intelligent systems and digital products for over 15 years. Jon was a member of the core team that authored the BBC Machine Learning Engine Principles, as well as delivering many successful innovative awarding-winning products.

Abanoub Rodolf Boctor

Head of Architecture | Chatbot Project Manager

Sanofi

The Future of Work at Sanofi: How Chatbots are Revolutionizing Internal Communications

At Sanofi, we have implemented chatbots to improve the way our employees communicate and get work done. Our chatbots are helping employees to quickly and easily access HR information, request time off, and submit expenses, freeing them up to focus on more important tasks. Additionally, our chatbots are enabling cross-functional and cross-border collaboration, making it easier for teams to work together and share information regardless of location. In this presentation, we will share case studies and best practices for implementing chatbots in the workplace and discuss the benefits we have seen at Sanofi. Attendees will learn how chatbots can help to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and create a better work experience for employees.

- Implementing chatbots can help to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and create a better work experience for employees.

- To be successful, chatbots must be continuously monitored and updated to ensure that they are delivering value and meeting the evolving needs of users.

- Chatbots have the potential to transform industries and the way we work, and it is important for organizations to stay informed and embrace new technologies as they emerge.

Rodolf is responsible for the architecture of chatbots at Sanofi, having gained four years of experience in the field. He has previously worked at Wizz Air, where he was part of the team who created the chatbot Amelia, and at Artive, where he contributed to the development of the SCAI chatbot platform. Rodolf has also partnered with various top-tier AI applications, such as synthesia.io and IBM Watson Assistant, and has expertise in natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Currently, he is working at Sanofi on a mission to create and develop a standalone multi-intent chatbot to provide the best possible experience for Sanofi employees.

Margaret Teale

Senior Product Owner - XMDiscover, Natural Language Engineering, Intelligent Automation

Lloyds Banking Group

 

Lauren Exell

Data Science Lead

Lloyds Banking Group

 

Sammer Puran

Data Scientist

Swiss Post

Applying NLP in various customer care application- ranging from email classification to chatbot

The main goal of this talk is to explore how NLP helped us to design solutions for our customer care. Our problems range from assigning the emails in customer care to the right agent, to transcribe Swiss German voice messages to German for further processing and a chatbot for automatically answering frequent customer questions. In this talk I will dive deeper, how we apply natural language processing to classify various products or processes in mails or intents in chats, how we use that information to automate certain tasks and therefore manage the workload of our agents. Furthermore I will show how to integrate such a solution in an environment where our agents, can retrain them on demand and react to data drifts.

- How to apply NLP in customer care applications

- How to design a manageable software that can react to changes

- How to integrate it into a CI/CD pipeline

With the background of a Master's degree in Computer Science with the focus of modeling and scaling up AI models I am currently working as a Senior AI Engineer at Swiss Post. My passion is to focus on delivering business value in customer care by operationalisation of use cases in production. Personally I am a networker and an open- minded, motivated person with the mission of transforming the Swiss Post to an AI driven organisation.

 

Michael Archer

Conversational Designer

Admiral Group Plc

Conversation Designers Are Everywhere: How hiring internally helped Admiral focus on a more technical build

With technologies becoming more advanced we had to build our chatbots to keep up, while also fulfilling the customers needs.

By hiring most of the team internally, this helped us focus on a more technical build as we brought in individuals who already understood Admiral’s goals and objectives, and the processes behind customer’s queries. This in turn helped streamline the design and build of our bots to the companies’ vision and customer’s needs.

It empowered the whole team to learn themselves how to re-build a chatbot better, sleeker and a design that can be re-used across multiple chatbots.

- Employing experienced staff members from within has allowed us to accelerate our conversation design and service capability within the bots

- Allowed us to focus on learning the tech side to build better chatbots and scale up.

- “People who like what they do, do it better” - Admiral’s culture of enriching the staff to develop whilst also striving and maintaining excellent customer service has helped us make sure we are getting better all the time at building better chatbots.

Enthusiastic about developing new skills to implement A.I. solutions which benefit both business and customer.

 

Aivis Indans

Digital Product Owner

British Airways

Knowing your customer – putting the customer at the centre of chatbot strategy

- How the BA.com chatbot came to be, and what it resulted in 

- Realising that chatbot was hated by customers – but why? 

- How we decided to turn around the chatbot, what we did and finally, achieving the promises of chatbots 

Aivis is a technically adept, agile, and enthusiastic professional with deep experience in delivering digital transformation projects to a diverse set of clients. He is inclusive, open-minded, project manager with an interest in data analytics, process optimization, digitization, and human-centered design. Aivis' core skillset includes a strong analytic mindset, conceptual and quantitative thinking, as well as exceptional interpersonal skills that foster trust and relationships.

Aivis approaches problems using people, processes and platforms approach. He tries to understand how various components interact, and how they affect the end-user. As such, his proposed solutions and approaches are centered around the human experience, thus reducing potential change management issues.

He is passionate about transportation industry, specifically aviation and active transportation (cycling, bike-share, etc).

 

Andrew Carpenter

Chatbots and AI Manager

Virgin Media O2

Innovating with Chatbots and AI in a restricted (large organisation) environment

 

- It is possible to  innovate and grow a new channel even within the confines of a larger organisation
- Be agile… but take your stakeholders on the journey with you!
- Innovation in the early stages can be fast with lots of quick wins… once its more mature then the stakeholders you’ll have brought on the journey with you will start to be impacted so keep them engaged and track the benefits.

Experienced Online Sales Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry. Skilled in Stakeholder Management, Analytical Skills, Microsoft Office, Databases, Contact Centers, and Management. Strong marketing professional with a love for what I do.

Richard Moore

Senior Research Fellow

Sheffield Hallam University

Richard is a Senior Research Fellow whose background is in applied research, leading evaluations of national sport and physical activity programmes in the UK, for clients including the Premier League, Rugby Football Union and Department of Health and Social Care. He now applies this knowledge to develop novel, evidence based Conversational AI solutions which support young people and adults to improve their health and wellbeing and leads the Conversational AI Research Cluster at Sheffield Hallam University, working on projects for a range of organisations including the NHS (i.e., DAFNE). He’s also the founder of Phyllis (Phyllis.chat), a chatbot which aims to support adolescents to overcome barriers to physical activity and is a mentor on the Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator Programme (AWRC) which support start-ups (i.e., Therapha) in health and wellbeing.