|The characters of Mushi & Rumi, a chatbot that provides information on school facilities, schedules, and contacts. Photo provided by Um Seo-young.|
By typing in short questions or keywords, students can receive immediate answers on campus life, such as school facilities, professors’ e-mail addresses, and school schedules. The messenger system allows students to conveniently find and easily access their needed information. Therfore when students need a professor’s e-mail address, they can simply send to Mushi & Rumi “000 professor e-mail” and the address pops out after just a few seconds. The chatbot only works in Korean, and the English version is yet to come due to difficulties in programming.
The journey of Mushi & Rumi started last summer with the two receiving an opportunity to work as an intern at “MindwareWorks,” a software company that makes chatbots for many universities. With the key technology learned through the internship and with financial support from professor Kim Myoung-jun and the College of Science & Industry Convergence, they were able to initiate their project.
“Although the chatbot is based on the MindwareWorks platform, we planned the concept and design of the program from scratch,” Um said. “We kept focusing on which services the students need most and be effectively used. After examining the online school community ‘Everytime’ and
collecting data from the administration office, we decided to create the school’s first-ever chatbot that provides information on school facilities, schedules, and contacts.”
Though the information that thechatbot provides deals mostly with the school, and the dean of college is trying to help them get sponsorship from the school, they are not getting
funds from them yet. Thus there have been constraints on time and training as there are only two students working on an intensive project. However, on a positive note, Um and Kim say that going through trial and error, they have been able to make Mushi & Rumi a more customized system for Ewha students.
There are currently more than 550 students who have added the chatbot’s account on their KakaoTalk friend list. The founders have been receiving feedback from users, and the overall reviews are quite positive.
“It’s so comfortable that I can find e-mail addresses without having to search through the school website,” a comment from Everytime stated.
“When saying I failed at registering courses I wanted to take, it was
hilarious that the chatbot provided a link that takes you to information regarding taking a semester off!” another comment stated. Since its launch, Mushi & Rumi has been getting positive feedbacks from students.
“It was interesting to see that many students were asking for professors’ e-mail addresses and for the walking time between school buildings,” Kim said. “One funny thing we found out
was that a lot of students were asking when the semester ends. So we added a new function that checks their D-day until the end of the course. The messages of students saying ‘Thank you,’ ‘Cheer up,’ and ‘Great!’ makes us smile, and it really makes the work worthwhile.”
With the help of students’ feedback, Mushi & Rumi is planning to continue
on including more answers and providing various services students can enjoy.
“In the near future, we hope to launch an app that is solely for Mushi & Rumi,” Um said. “Despite the high accessibility of KakaoTalk, there are clear limitations in creating new services. With the app, we plan to offer students diverse and convenient services, such as checking vacant seats in libraries or sleeping rooms. But we aren’t so sure, because to provide this information, we have to discuss technical issues with the school. Hopefully, we can make it available for students. For those using Mushi & Rumi, your feedback is always welcome.”
Lee Young-in email@example.com
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