Rajendra

I write columns on news related to bots, specially in the categories of Artificial Intelligence, bot startup, bot funding.I am also interested in recent developments in the fields of data science, machine learning and natural language processing ...

Full Bio 
Follow on

I write columns on news related to bots, specially in the categories of Artificial Intelligence, bot startup, bot funding.I am also interested in recent developments in the fields of data science, machine learning and natural language processing

This asset class turned Rs 1 lakh into Rs 625 crore in 7 years; make a wild guess!
694 days ago

Artificial intelligence is not our friend: Hillary Clinton is worried about the future of technology
698 days ago

More than 1 lakh scholarship on offer by Google, Know how to apply
699 days ago

Humans have some learning to do in an A.I. led world
699 days ago

Human Pilot Beats Artificial Intelligence In NASA's Drone Race
700 days ago

Google AI can create better machine-learning code than the researchers who made it
72876 views

More than 1 lakh scholarship on offer by Google, Know how to apply
59637 views

13-year-old Indian AI developer vows to train 100,000 coders
41037 views

Pornhub is using machine learning to automatically tag its 5 million videos
37344 views

Rise of the sex robots: Life-like doll goes on sale for 15,000 pound
31731 views

Going On A Business Trip Talk To A Bot

By Rajendra |Email | Jul 25, 2017 | 5991 Views

Imagine you are preparing for a business trip. Instead of searching furiously for the email with the exact departure time buried in your inbox, and then looking up the weather at your destination, you simply say Alexa, what time does my flight leave? And what will the weather be like

Assuming you have an Amazon Echo, Alexa will then call up all the requested information about your trip so you can arrange for your taxi at the right time and pack appropriately.

According to Gartner, conversational systems are one of the top 10 technology trends for 2017. While the technology is still maturing, such a solution isnt too farfetched. A small team of technologists in Bellevue, Washington has developed just such a solution  albeit as a prototype.

Concur, acquired by SAP in 2014, creates software that automates all aspects of business travel from booking to expenses. Because it is cloud-based software, they can open APIs or doorways  that integrate with conversational technologies like Amazon Echo or Slack.

Concur Labs is doing just that as part of their efforts to bring the travel application to where people work and are most comfortable., A lot of people use our services once or twice a year and its like re-learning the application each time says John Dietz, head of Concur Labs So we have been pursuing conversational interfaces  both voice and text as a way to bring services to users.

Earlier this year the team released a beta Concur Bot that works in Slack, the collaboration tool that lets teams talk to each other via a text message-like interface. The bot embedded in Slack connects directly to Concur so you can ask about your next trip through the app  whether its on your desktop or mobile device.

John explains, Someone at the airport can type an airplane emoji into their mobile Slack app and it will tell you your gate number and when you need to leave. This started as a beta with a few customers and has now graduated to become a core Concur offering. Some of our larger customers are very excited about it.

Bots can also help people submit and add expenses more easily or call up an inventory of their expense reports.

Concur Labs also brought its expense app right into Microsoft Office 365 via machine learning capabilities. John says, This will let people process a receipt sent to their email account from mobile payment vendor Square -- as well as Amazon, eBay, etc. -- so it goes straight into Concur and automatically populates tabs like amount, vendor, expense type, date, and report. We are pretty accurate.

Where Natural Language Processing Meetings Machine Learning

While Concur Bots are already doing pretty well, they are always getting better  in part due to machine learning. Conversational technologies are a subset of the larger artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Concur has developed their own machine learning algorithms to help make these conversational interfaces smarter all the time. Says John, We can track the mistakes and learn from those mistakes  these are all guided by machine learning technology.

He adds, machine learning adds probability based on its vast experience of reports and trips its seen. An expense report should be black and white, but never is. Like, Should I expense the drinks I had while waiting for my delayed flight? Machine learning can help make those decisions.

These are some of the interesting things happening at Concur Labs. And point towards what road warriors can expect in the not too-distant future.

Source: Forbes