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How AI and Chatbots with IoT can help in solving tricky business problems

September 29, 2020

“Speech doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of those technologies with the potential to change everything.” – Andrew Ng

According to a Forbes report, there were an estimated 17 billion connected devices in the world as of 2018 and the number is estimated to hit 100 billion devices by 2025 as predicted by an SDC report.

The quantum of data produced by IoT devices and sensors is massive, often running into terabytes in a short period. Making sense of all these large amounts of data can be daunting. AI can play a significant role in analyzing and utilizing large data, while conversational UI/ chatbots provide a convenient way to access such amounts of data. With the rise of Industry 4.0 Smart Factories, industrial data is available from the plethora of IoT devices, equipments, and sensors.

Conversational UI (Chatbot) to fetch machine information

A conversational interface (CUI) is a digital interface that enables users to interact with software following the principles of human-to-human conversation.

Capgemini worked with a global manufacturing client on a conversational UI interface to enable plant floor supervisors to quickly get information about the state of a milling machine’s condition, manage product quality by analyzing a large amount of data produced by sensors and factory systems, and presenting in a manner that was easy to digest and action.

Typically manufacturing plant floor supervisors have to maintain and monitor multiple machines that may not be present at the same location. Having a voice- and text-enabled conversational UI allows them to query the machine health quickly and efficiently.

OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture)

OPC UA is a platform independent service-oriented architecture that integrates all the functionality of the individual OPC Classic specifications into one extensible framework. OPC is the interoperability standard for secure and reliable exchange of data that is platform independent and ensures seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors.

Many machines on the plant floor use OPC UA protocol that our chatbot understands and can navigate based on the user search criteria. The result is then analyzed and presented in a format that is easy to understand by floor staff, while allowing interactions with the machine and systems to fetch data in real-time. The same chatbot can be used to interface with any other machine that uses the same standard.

A snapshot of how communication with a machine could look

Points to ponder

What is the infrastructure needed to support IoT and AI? IoT produces massive amounts of data and often requires capabilities to process data real-time near the devices. Technologies like 5G, Fog and edge computing enable this. Read Capgemini’s TechnoVision Report to know more about these technologies.

Conversational UI during crisis

In the current COVID-19 situation with many employees working from home, conversational UI can be used to interact with employees to help them continue any work that can be done remotely. For example, chatbots can provide real-time pandemic updates, details on the company remote working policies and IT infrastructure support (for troubleshooting instances like locked accounts or forgotten passwords). It could also provide new opportunities for self-service that previously required human-to-human interaction. All this could help employees get through these difficult times and also reduce the burden and load on support staff.


Empowering employees with real-time information using new-age digital solutions helps in realizing the true business value of such disruptive innovations and empowers organizations in joining the AI transformation wave.

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