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Dramatic Rise in AI Chatbot Usage As Colleges Shifted to Remote Student Support Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

BOULDER, CO – Ocelot, the leading provider of artificially intelligent conversational chatbots for colleges and universities, announced today that in the 90 days since colleges shut down physical campuses in March, chatbot usage increased 262% across its network.

Ocelot estimates that its college chatbots will answer over 4.5 million questions in 2020. That number is up from 1.5 million in 2019. Students most frequently asked their college chatbots about refunds, housing options, changes to campus operations, and classes.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of chatbot conversations across our network since the pandemic,” said Damon Vangelis, Ocelot Founder and CEO. “As Colleges went remote, students relied heavily on chatbots to communicate with their schools. The collective amount of machine learning across the network is significant.”

Vangelis added: “Chatbots are proving to be a critical communication tool for colleges during emergencies. In 2018, chatbots were critical as wildfires disrupted school operations in Northern California. Similarly, chatbots have been crucial for colleges since COVID-19 shut down in-person student support.”

Some notable college-by-college statistics:

Bakersfield College (Bakersfield, CA) answered 18,255 students in May through its chatbot, “The Renegade.”

University of North Carolina, Greensboro’s chatbot “Minnie” answered 10,995 questions in May, up from 3,689 in March.

Riverside City College (Riverside, CA) answered 122,899 questions in May, up from 1,102 in March through its chatbot, “Bennie”.

Curt Luttrell, Director of Admissions and Records at College of the Desert (Palm Desert, CA), recently said, “I love my bot! ‘The Roadrunner’ took care of 1,500+ conversations with my students last week alone. Gives my team time to spend with the students who really need our direct help.”

About Ocelot

Founded in 2003, Ocelot (formerly known as FATV) is the nation’s largest SaaS provider of Multilingual Artificially Intelligent Chatbots to higher education. The customizable Ocelot platform includes an unrivaled knowledgebase of content, including over 20,000 knowledgebase Q&A, and over 2,000 explainer videos. Ocelot answers over 97.5% of chatbot interactions without the need for human intervention with over 40% of conversations conducted after standard business hours. Schools deploy Ocelot to improve enrollment yield and retention, support student services, and further financial literacy/debt education. Visit ocelotbot.com to learn more.