TUMO Labs Students Put Their Skills to Work in Innovation Challenges

A human digital twin that can anticipate a user’s intentions, wants, and needs using contextual information to provide personalized recommendations for next steps? Five students experimented with this concept and came up with a chatbot prototype during a four-month program from SAP and Armenian educational initiative TUMO Labs. It aims to support university students to understand, utilize, and shape digital technologies.

With TUMO, SAP Innovation Center Network provided 22 innovation challenges to explore emerging technologies and concepts, each associated with one of four SAP Innovation Center Network projects: augmented extended planning and analysis (xP&A), augmented access control, future of self-service, and future of asynchronous work. SAP Innovation Center Network focuses on exploring new technologies through use cases to solve future problems. Innovation is an ongoing process that needs not only curiosity and determination but also inventive ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. It was precisely this fresh thinking and unusual approaches that made working with the TUMO students so interesting for both sides.

“For me, it was a great experience working with artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing, with the help of which we were able to find interesting insights from user conversations,” said Sasun Tadevosyan, one of the five students developing the chatbot. “Further research and improvements will help to create a virtual assistant to automate routine work.”

Photo courtesy of Igor Belousov

Sasun and her team built the chatbot as part of the augmented access control challenge. Here, the students were asked to explore how user contextual data and the concept of human digital twins can be leveraged in a privacy-preserving, predictive manner to improve access control and authorization experiences. A digital twin could eventually help humans anticipate these access requirements and gather the necessary information to facilitate access, increasing productivity and enabling quicker business decisions.

For their chatbot, Sasun and team evaluated chat messages between two users who want to organize a meeting and extracted insights about meeting details using a rule engine. The chatbot helps set up the call and automatically creates authorizations and access to the meeting as well as relevant documents that will be shared.

This is a great example of how digital assistants can make life easier by automating daily routines, like in this case scheduling a meeting and making sure everyone has the necessary access rights to collaborate more easily.

During the four months, experts from SAP Innovation Center Network monitored the progress of all challenges and were in constant exchange with the participants to support if needed. Apart from solving the challenge, working with TUMO Labs experts helped strengthen the students’ soft skills, and support from SAP University Alliances provided all students with access to SAP learning resources.

“We learned to work as a team and under pressure. We got problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and public speaking skills,” recapped the team around Ani Galstyan that worked on the future of asynchronous work.

This group of five students was challenged to examine how digital avatars are used in various fields today. They created a Web site to showcase different possibilities to implement digital avatars in different fields such as business, the gaming industry, and the military. Plus, they added features to help users create their personal avatar. During their research, Ani and team learned how digital avatars can be a valuable addition in healthcare, as they could eventually lead to a more holistic understanding of the human body to predict and prevent possible side effects before working with real human beings.

Photo courtesy of Igor Belousov

After working on their projects, the students presented their outcomes at a demo day in April in front of SAP and TUMO experts as well as SAP customer ACBA Bank and partners.

Bahareh Fatemi, Head of TUMO Labs, said in a video statement: “We’re super excited with working with the SAP Innovation Center Network! Having these sort of collaborations internationally for us is very important because it will allow us to understand where we can improve and where we can push our students to adapt and get more skills.”

Plans are already underway to continue working with SAP Innovation Center Network on additional innovation challenges, further explore emerging topics, and provide opportunities for more students to participate.

“That was a great experience for us to explore AI avatars in different fields,” concluded Ani after participating in the project. “We are looking forward to seeing new developments in the future as we are going through technological improvements nowadays.”


Lukasz Ostrowski is a development manager for SAP Innovation Center Network.
Igor Belousov is global content delivery director and country manager of Italy, Turkey, and CIS for SAP University Alliances.