Artificially intelligent chatbot helping people recycle more efficiently and reduce waste.
Lassila & Tikanoja is a service industry operator who wishes to change our consumer economy into an efficient recycling economy together with its customers. The company employs 8,000 people in Finland, Sweden and Russia. Its turnover in 2017 was 541 million EUR.
Lassila & Tikanoja, founded in 1905, is a leading forerunner in digital recycling services in Finland. Together with L&T we created the first artificial-intelligence-infused recycling bot on Facebook Messenger. The goal was to ensure that recycling instructions would be easily and quickly available.
In the past, people have been forced to look for recycling information from several different sources. One of the best sources is Lassila & Tikanoja’s website www.lajitteluapuri.fi, which gets organic traffic, but has outdated technology. Even though the user interface does not fulfill current requirements, the database includes a lot of valuable recycling information collected over several decades. Bringing Lajitteluapuri to this day and age required implementing a new digital channel that enables faster and easier access to detailed recycling information.
The Facebook Messenger environment was opened up to software developers in April 2016, which enabled creating completely automated chatbots. These bots are readily available to all Facebook users. Thanks to its massive user base, Facebook Messenger was an obvious choice as the first platform for Recycling bot Kikka.
The search function used on L&T’s Lajitteluapuri website, where the search starts in real time as soon as the user starts writing, could not be used on Facebook Messenger. On this platform, the chatbot only gets the command once the user hits the ’send’ button. Dealing with complete sentences also created challenges as Finnish is an agglutinative language where words can contain a large number of different suffixes and conjugations.
Kikka was taught language recognition through Facebook’s wit.ai developer tool. The contents of the recycling database were moved into a cloud service using the latest database technology. By combining the information of different recycling points from www.kierratys.info with the user’s location, the chatbot can offer information on how and where users can recycle their waste. The L&T Market information package was brought into the mix to offer the best possible recycling services found locally for users. You can check how Recycling bot Kikka is doing at m.me/KierratysbottiKikka.
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