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Open Access Publications from the University of California

ANTswers: an interactive library FAQ

  • Author(s): Kane, Danielle A.
  • et al.
Abstract

ANTswers, introduced in March of 2013, is an interactive beta chatbot that responds to frequently answered library questions for the University of California, Irvine Libraries. Many of the questions at a library reference desk are repetitive, such as: how to print, where the bathrooms are, and where the study rooms are. Utilizing a chatbot allows the library patron to ask questions 24/7 through an easy to access webpage and it allows the library to provide consistent answers to routine questions. Chatbot transcripts can also be text mined to learn how library patrons are asking questions, this information can be utilized in marketing or in updating library websites. ANTswers utilizes the open source program Program-O to manage the chatbots and the Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) to develop the back-end programming. This poster will introduce the basics of AIML and the process to implement and maintain a library chatbot for your institution. Included in the poster will be information on the assessment of the ANTswers pilot and charts and graphs of our key statistics. The UCI Libraries has made the ANTswers files publicly available and downloadable through eScholarship, this will allow other institutions to edit and modify already created library files.

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