Temasek Polytechnic, a higher education institution in Singapore, released its “Ask TP” chatbot in January 2018, under Sok Keow’s leadership. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant and hosted on IBM Cloud, Ask TP helps current and prospective students find answers to questions about Temasek’s curriculum, including personalized course advice. In the first two weeks of 2020 alone, Ask TP responded to more than 4,351 questions from nearly 1,728 unique users.

What was the business opportunity you sought to address by using AI?
At Temasek Polytechnic, we have thousands of prospective students, parents and teachers who call our staff, attend our open houses and go to our website for information about our course offerings, our admissions requirements, the career prospects of our graduates and more. We turned to Watson to develop a chatbot that could help our stakeholders find the information they were looking for, 24/7. This has also freed up time for our admissions officers to deal with more complex issues.

What did you learn as you implemented AI?
Working on Ask TP has provided us with rich insights about the types of questions our students (and other stakeholders) have, as well as their course preferences. Thanks to Watson, the chatbot databank is able to capture user ratings, comments, trending topics and other data-driven information—which helps us refine our answers to improve the customer experience. We are now better prepared for student and parent seminars, for example, because we can anticipate and address pressing concerns and topics of interest.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
To pursue a career that is aligned with my values, competencies and interests. Working in an area you are passionate about brings deep fulfillment and enables you to excel.

What advice would you give your younger self?
I have come to deeply appreciate that people are the most critical assets in an organization and that leaders must develop and build teams, not individuals.

She puts Watson Assistant to work

Dive deeper into your journey to AI and learn more about Watson Assistant