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Got Technology Questions? IT Help Desk Chatbot Has Answers

Launching on Oct. 26, the new digital assistant provides students and employees with 24/7 answers to campus technology questions.

New Service  |  Oct 23, 2020  |  By Nicole Johnson
Person standing near table holding a smartphone

Scarlet, the new IT Help Desk chatbot, is making it easier for students, faculty, and staff to get technology assistance. (Rakitha Perera/UNLV OIT)

Getting help with campus technology can be a challenge if you are learning or working remotely. But the new IT Help Desk chatbot hopes to make it easier for UNLV students, faculty, and staff to get technical support.

The digital assistant - named Scarlet (a play on the university’s official colors) - leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to provide users with the latest information about common technology questions.

Scarlet launches on the IT website on Oct. 26.

According to Ashbinder Saini, a technology support specialist and chatbot live agent, the service is a time-saving tool.

“The IT Help Desk chatbot addresses customer questions in a timely manner,” he said. “It gives them access to answers about campus technology 24 hours a day - without having to go anywhere or wait in line.”

As more people use the technology, the AI becomes smarter and the knowledge base increases. So far, the chatbot has over 70 questions stored, including password reset and WebCampus help information.

If Scarlet is unable to help, it will direct users to someone who can.

“We currently have three employees dedicated to live chatbot support,” said IT support services manager Hector Ibarra. “Our technicians offer customized technology help through the chat, and for more complex issues, they will escalate the requests for elevated assistance by phone or in person at the IT Help Desk.”

Ibarra said that plans to expand the service in the near future are being worked on.

For now, customers can use the chatbot anytime, with live support available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or choose to join a virtual line for in-person help or contact the IT Help Desk directly.