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Google joins Alexa and Becky the bot


“Ok Google, talk to Leeds Beckett University.”

These words could change the lives of potential university students across the country.

As part of an on-going bid bring the university application process into the 21st century and use the latest technology, Leeds Beckett University has launched a new AI programme to make the route to higher education easier.

By using Google Assistant, anyone interested in signing up to a Leeds Beckett course can now simply talk to a virtual admission assistant to find relevant courses.

And If everything matches up, the software can even offer provisional places on degree courses.

The innovation – believed to be the first of its kind at any university – should prove particularly useful for those using clearing (applying for university courses after A-level results are published).

Leeds Beckett University’s Director of University Recruitment, Chris Watts, said: “Opening your A-level results is a time of heightened emotions and excitement. For many, it will confirm the grades needed for university courses they have already applied for.

“Increasingly, students are also keeping their option open until after they have received their results.

“There are plenty of benefits in doing this, but it also means they have far less time to sort out their higher education future.

“Of course, the traditional telephone conversation is still available and we have a dedicated team working on clearing.

“But this was a natural step for us to take, as students increasingly invest in the opportunities available through new technology.

“Our latest technological innovation using Google Assistant is another tool that students’ now have to try and make the process of applying to university as stress-free as possible.

“It also means that once again Leeds Beckett is leading the way in technological innovation, having already introduced a chatbot and worked with Amazon’s to offer alternatives to the traditional clearing process.”

Leeds Beckett’s original alternative to the phone lines was introduced in 2017 with Becky the Chatbot.

Available 24 hours a day on both on desktop and mobile, it uses a series of menus or keywords to guide students through the clearing process.

Last year, the university revealed its Alexa virtual assistant, which allowed potential students to find out about courses by talking to their Amazon devices.

The new Google clearing assistant will allow students to check their options through their mobile phones as soon as they have opened their results envelope.


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