27 March 2019

Introducing Tohu, the Study in New Zealand chatbot

ENZ has made its first foray into the field of artificial intelligence with the launch of Tohu, a chatbot on the Study in New Zealand (SiNZ) website that answers questions from prospective international students.

TohuJamie Crump, ENZ’s Director Business Planning, says Tohu was designed to help prospective students on SiNZ, answering their questions in a trusted, fast and friendly way.

“The goal for Tohu is to be a virtual assistant for the New Zealand international education sector by helping answer enquiries from students considering New Zealand 24/7.”

Jamie says currently Tohu can answer more than 300 questions about studying in New Zealand, but this grows with each interaction. While Tohu can only speak English, it is learning other languages, such as Mandarin, in order to service students more comfortable in their native tongue.

“Themore people that chat with it, the more it learns, making its artificial intelligence smarter every day.

“Already we’re seeing trends in commonly asked questions, including how to get a scholarship, how to get a student visa, and how to apply to study, and about New Zealand culture and the cost of study.”

The name Tohu means ‘to advise or provide guidance’ and ‘to be a sign or landmark’ while its appearance is a nod to the word Aotearoa – ‘land of the long white cloud’.

While Tohu currently lives on the SiNZ website, it will soon answer Messenger questions on the SiNZ Facebook page too.

ENZ’s next steps are to connect Tohu with ENZ’s database marketing programme and enable it to answer questions on NauMai NZ.

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