IBM Watson Assistant-“Journeys” Beta Release

At the time when much of the tech world is obsessing over ChatGPT, open AI’s latest and greatest conversional chatbot offering (check this blog for more details-, IBM unveiled Watson Assistant web chat version 6.9.0 without much fanfare.

One of the most exciting features of this release is “Journeys”. In the words of IBM- “A journey is an interactive, multipart response that can combine text, video, and images, presented in sequence in a small window superimposed over your website.”

The central theme around “Journeys” is to help users complete complex tasks or adopt new features already available on your website. When a user starts a “journey”, the chat window temporarily closes. The web chat integration then presents the journey elements one step at a time in a small window superimposed over your website, enabling your users to navigate and use the website as they step through the journey. At any time during the journey, the user can return to the chat window.

Like any Journey, the Watson Assistant “Journey” consists of steps (which must be configured). These steps are shown to the user in the pre-configured sequence enabling users to complete the “Journey”.

Based on the use case, steps need to be configured. This “Journey” can be made more enriching by using video, text and imagery allowing the user to complete the steps (defined by the use case) efficiently.

As an advocate of chatbots for improving work efficiency of employees, one of the use cases that immediately comes to my mind is to use “Journeys” for assisting new team members complete complex tasks that require multiple steps and actions (these tasks are usually difficult to document as static training manuals and often buried in some unknown SharePoint locations) without having them reach out to other team members.

The Watson Assistant can be embedded on the company intranet/ software application and can assist users by setting up different “Journeys” based on their role in the organization. For e.g. for a team member in the Accounting Organization may invoke “Closing Month End in the Financial System” Journey whereas a new employee may invoke “Complete Onboarding activities” Journey. Each of these journeys will have their own unique “steps” providing the users all the inputs they require in a sequential manner to help complete the task at hand.

The “Journeys” functionality is currently in beta mode and is available for testing and evaluation only and not meant to be used in Production systems.

One of my items on my To-Do learning list is to configure and use this functionality and hopefully I can document the same in a blog post soon!

You can learn more about “Journeys” here-

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