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Digital Republic Assistant: AI Integration Straight Out of Zurich

Interview With Matthias Zwingli, Founder and CEO, Connect AI

Digital Republic has long resisted the use of chatbots. The existing solutions simply did not meet the requirements. When the decision was finally made to make the possibilities of AI accessible to our customers with a language model, it was clear that expertise was needed. This was provided by Matthias Zwingli’s AI start-up. With his latest project “Connect AI”, the experienced start-up advisor and investor is one of the first to offer customized solutions for companies using ChatGPT and co. We asked him about the creative process behind the Digital Republic Assistant in an exclusive interview.


So Matthias: What is it really? A chatbot, an AI assistant or an AI agent?

With Digital Republic, we speak of an AI assistant. By doing so, we want to take account of the fact that it is more than just a bot. The assistant can maintain a conversation over a longer period of time, understand the flow of the conversation and assist the user in solving their problem.

When did we unleash our Digital Republic AI assistant onto our customers?

This was at the end of January 2024. And for the time being only on the support page. In addition to simply searching for further information, customers and interested parties can now also ask the AI assistant directly.

On what knowledge base does our AI assistant operate?

Digital Republic has a high-quality database of further information, detailed FAQs and step-by-step explanatory articles that has grown over the years. We supplied our AI assistant with this extensive information. We limit ourselves to information that is already in the public domain. For data protection reasons, no customer information or internal data is included.

Together with the connection to GPT4 omni, the Digital Republic Assistant prepares the answers and delivers them in a matter of seconds.

What is happening now on a daily basis? Is the assistant being used?

We have seen double-digit interactions with the AI assistant practically from day 1. The AI assistant currently handles an average of over 100 conversations a day.

Do we have more inquiries on Sundays or at times when our customer service is not available?

The requests come in at any time of day. The peak is usually on Mondays, but the AI assistant is also actively used on Sundays and offers interactive help.

What about quality and how do we measure it?

We are currently going through the conversations individually and checking the content for accuracy, quality and answers to the questions. After five months of use, we have already established that 95% of the conversations were successful.

What is meant by “successful”?

The chat assistant could answer the question directly, provide more in-depth information or link directly to customer service for personal contact, the latter for all questions that the AI assistant cannot or may not answer, for example for data protection reasons.

What can and must our AI assistant not answer?

It cannot perform any actions, such as converting a SIM card into an eSIM. Instead, it can describe step by step how the customer can do this themselves in the customer portal.

Also, of course, the AI assistant cannot and must not disclose any information about customer data.

Thank you very much for the interview! We are excited to see where we will take the AI assistant next. Can you briefly tell me exactly what Connect AI does and offers?

With the emergence of generative AI such as ChatGPT, Google Gemini and other open source models, new possibilities have opened up. In recent years, it has become possible to integrate artificial intelligence quickly and cost-effectively, making it accessible to SMEs in particular. In contrast to open generative AIs such as ChatGPT, our approach makes it possible to make internal knowledge easily accessible to customers or employees via AI assistants. With Connect AI, we advise and integrate state-of-the-art AI applications for companies. We make it possible for AI projects to deliver added value quickly and swiftly, as was the case on day one at Digital Republic.

Portrait von Matthias Zwingli, Gründer und CEO von Connect AI

Matthias Zwingli | Founder and CEO, Connect AI

Matthias Zwingli combines expertise in business management and GenAI. The Connect AI founder has been working in the Swiss innovation ecosystem for several years as an accredited startup coach for Innosuisse and is a board member of Green-Y Energy AG. Previously, he was Head of Startup at digitalswitzerland and Core Operator at the Federation of Migros Cooperatives. With Connect AI, the passionate kitesurfer creates customized solutions for companies that want to use the possibilities of AI for their processes and products. ​​

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