The first networking meeting of the Centre for Digital Experimentation (ZDEX) of Würzburg University was held in late October. The objective of the centre: Knowledge exchange and collaborations on concrete issues of digital transformation. The program is funded by the European Social Fund and the state of Bavaria, and will run until the end of 2022.

Innovation, digitisation and automation are central components of avato Information Management. That is why there are many interface points with the thematic networks of the ZDEX programme: The scope of planned projects spans from search optimisation, analytics and AI to virtual assistants. The implementation of some of the project ideas that came up when the university invited us to participate has already begun.

In close collaboration with the Network Digital Media and Social Agents (organised by the Chair of Media Informatics), we will work on optimally adapting our digital assistant Liibot to user needs. Intuitive conversation threads, a pleasant personality, and close alignment with the context of use are essential for a successful chatbot. Within the ZDEX we will analyse and optimise these aspects of Liibot based on current scientific standards.

Several topics are planned simultaneously for our collaboration with the Network for Data Analysis and Natural Language Processing of the Chair of Digital Humanities. Initial trials are already underway for AI-supported analysis of user feedback. The basic idea here is to automatically detect whether a comment from an information user is criticism, praise, a suggestion or a question. This information can then be used to evaluate the quality of the commented content. That will allow targeted optimisation where it is needed most.

The quality of information and documentation can also be measured with other means. An AI, for example, can assess data reliability based on formal criteria. This would be particularly useful where large volumes of historically grown documentation are to be migrated to a modern information management system. An automated presorting of the information allows a more accurate estimate of how much effort will be required for a migration. We also collaborate with the Network for Data Analysis on this issue.

More projects are in the pipeline. Assessment of text comprehensibility, long-term quality assurance and process optimisation are just some of the topics in which the combination of AI and information management offers great potential. The option of involving our partners and customers allows more people and companies to benefit from ZDEX directly. We are very much looking forward to our joint experimentations and the innovative solutions that will emerge from this collaborative effort.

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