Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Prototypes of virtual agents that provide business information

While browsing Chatbots.org, I have discovered prototypes of virtual conversational agents that do provide business (or company) information online. They are available on this online directory: http://www.chatbots.org/platform/facebook/

I have even discovered pre-existing virtual agents that offer legal and financial information online: http://www.chatbots.org/industry/finance_legal/

Even though I have not evaluated these agents as yet, (which might make for a useful future project), I believe that these discoveries support my perspective that conversational agents can be used to convey business information. It is just a matter of deciding what knowledgebase or database of business information or even company information that one wants a conversational agent to store.

Hence, I see that business librarians can perhaps adapt the conversational agent towards providing company information. Already in business information there is what we commonly call the company profile (See Abels & Klein, 2008, p.42 for definition of company profiles) . Or industry profile for that matter. Hence, a conversational agent could be designed to answer questions about what company produces what products and services. Information provided could also include whether the company is publicly traded or private. The agent could also be designed to indicate the ownership structure of the company.


Abels E. G. &  Klein, D. P. (2008). Business information: Needs and strategies. Bingley, UK : Academic Press/Emerald.

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