Every year there's a big focus on innovation at SXSW, and 2017 was no exception. Eventbase was excited about the launch of Abby - the official bot in the SXSW Go mobile app. Abby delivered a casual, fun conversational-style user experience to help attendees navigate SXSW, find out what was happening around them and get timely answers to frequently asked questions.
Powered by AI, Abby understood user preferences and context to better provide content, recommendations and information– adding a level of personalization for users. Questions ranged from “What keynotes are happening today?” to “Where can I find something to eat?”
In the past users were able to get information from the app themselves, with a bot an intelligent app does all the work for you.
“This moves the event app beyond being an interactive replacement for the printed guide, it is now an indispensable and intelligent personal concierge that elevates the attendee experience,” says Jeff Sinclair, CEO and co-founder at Eventbase. “What we’re really excited to see is that people who used it a lot—the most active users—asked a lot of questions.”
In all, SXSW attendees submitted 56,000 unique questions to Abby during the course of the event. The top 1,000 users were averaging 17 questions each, and usage grew over time, rising about 20 percent per day. More than 16,000 unique users submitted questions to the bot.
So, what exactly were people asking Abby? With Austin’s slogan in mind “Keep Austin Weird,” here’s a look at some of the weird questions asked and interactions users had with Abby.
Here are some other questions people asked:
Is it me you're looking for?
Are you friends with Siri?
Do you like to play chess?
Do you want to become human?
Is cheesecake a cake or a pie?
Is there a robot petting zoo?
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Throughout SXSW, staff from SXSW and Eventbase constantly monitored a live stream of questions being asked, so we could fine-tune the answers to make them more relevant. Over time, Abby will learn and get smarter. Abby will definitely be back at SXSW with an even greater level of intelligence in 2018.