On November 12, 2021, the inauguration of the Conversational Business Chair was held at the School of Engineering of the University of Valencia facilities. Despite the attendance limit imposed by the COVID pandemic situation, we were honored by the presence of the University of Valencia administration, representatives from different faculties and from the most prominent technology companies in Valencia, as well as, directors of other company chairs, professors, and student organization members.

During the ceremony, the Director of the Conversational Business Chair Dr. Jesús Soret presented the chair and shared the goals and motivation for its establishment. The current 4th Industrial Revolution and the new technologies’ development, which impacts all aspects of our lives, imposes the necessity of continuous learning in order to manage them and keep updated.

All educational, governmental, and private institutions, started using the most popular conversational channels among their public, aiming to establish fluid communication. This generates a big demand for technology and for professionals capable of managing the complete communication process. Aware of this, the University of Valencia in partnership with the Sanuker company, created the Conversational Business Chair, based on ETSE.

The concept of Conversational Business is multidisciplinary and involves many institutions, because developing and managing conversations depends on different knowledge fields, such as linguistics, computer science, psychology, law, economics, and others.

Jose Pérez, the Strategic Director of the Chair, continued the presentation sharing his vision about the conversational business’ future, its potential, and its impact on society. He highlighted the importance of establishing the Chair at the University of Valencia, since it is about “conversations” and, therefore, requires specialists in humanities.

The University of Valencia, with history of more than 500 years and its essential education and research role in more than 15 faculties and schools, represents the perfect foundation for the knowledge transfer about new technologies of conversational business. This also favors sharing the vision on emerging professions, cultivating talent, and leading research related to the conversational business’ impact on society, and best practices with the students and professionals of the university.

We are at the birth of a new industry of conversational business, and everything is yet to be built. The chair’s objectives are knowledge transfer to society, talent generation, and scalability in its actions.

Roy Hui, the founder of Sanuker company, the patron of the Chair, came from Hong Kong to participate in the inauguration. In his speech, Roy Hui shared the history of their company, its vision on Corporate Social Responsibility, and their willingness to contribute in helping educational institutions to get closer to the knowledge about the last generation technology and, and to provide research teams and students, access to real data.

Sanuker’s founder shared examples of previous social projects, such as the one for Fallas 2020 in Valencia. The initiative consisted in creating the FallasBot, conversational tool focused on helping tourists to navigate, visit monuments and events  of  more than 400 fallas around the city. All this functionality of chatbot is available in 8 different languages. Complementary, this bot presented the location of all the pharmacies in Valencia and provided emergency contact options with the police and the service 016. This bot was a gift to the city and, although the fallas were canceled due to the pandemic, has been utilized by over 10,000 users.

Additionally, he  highlighted Sanuker’s work with multinational companies, such as the HSBC Bank, with whom they have an agreement as a technological partner, enabling all business entities that have an HSBC bank account to enjoy their services.

Moreover, he presented a series of solutions created by Facebook’s requests. The most recent one has been a chatbot for use in Taiwan that helps members of the LGBTQ community to “come out”, by giving advice and psychological support.

“We believe that the Conversational Business Chair has an important role in the knowledge transfer and research in this area, and we are aware of our corporate social responsibility as such,” concluded Roy Hui, the founder of Sanuker.

The presentation ended with the intervention of the Chair Executive Director, Dr. Dariya Kanseitova, who shared the project challenges and the work plan for the future. She noted that the chair offers different models of collaboration for students, professionals, organizations and educational institutions.

The chair’s team has been working on the generation of several work lines with different Faculties and Schools of the UV, where to carry out its research projects, educational events, and other actions. The Chair has already signed more than 20 Memorandums of Understanding with different associations, science parks, and companies of the conversational industry.

On behalf of the Conversational Business Chair, we thank the University of Valencia administration and all those partners who have made the Chair creation possible, hoping to have a fruitful and successful collaboration.