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B.A.R.I.C.A.- Artificial Intelligence chatbot developed as FOI student's assistance

Created: 02.12.2019

A team of scientists and students from the Faculty of Organization and Informatics in Varaždin (FOI), headed by Assoc. Prof. Markus Schatten, Ph.D., created B.A.R.I.C.A. - an Artificial Intelligence chatbot designed to be an assistant and to help college students, providing them with useful information about a classroom position, professors or schedule.

B.A.R.I.C.A. is an acronym behind the name Beautiful ARtificial Intelligence Cognitive Agent.

It is programmed to provide students with four key questions at this stage:

1. Can you tell me something about FOI.

2. Where is room NO. XY?

3. Where is Professor XY's office located?

4. Can you check the class schedule?

The creator of the B.A.R.I.C.A. is Markus Schatten, Ph.D., associate professor at FOI and head of the Artificial Intelligence Lab, who points out that this is not a commercial production solution, but a relatively good proof of concept application. Schatten implemented the basic version of the system and continues to maintain it with the help of colleagues from FOI's AI lab - assistants Igor Tomičić, Ph.D. and Bogdan Okreša Đurić, Ph.D.

Adaptation for the needs of the Faculty was completely implemented by (now former) student Tajana Šokec within the framework of practice in AI Laboratory. She also won the Rector's Prize on the subject, having developed an interesting hybrid model of Artificial Intelligence.

B.A.R.I.C.A. is the first project of a kind at FOI, but there are several other initiatives to create similar chatbot agents.

Professors and teaching assistants, teams of students are working on such and similar projects, Schatten says, stating that meetings, workshops, student internships are organized for them each year, and online courses are planned as well.