When the conversation turns to artificial intelligence of any kind; and particularly to robots, we all conjure images of Terminator, Blade Runner, Ex Machina, and all other famous Sci-Fi movie evil robots. However, nothing can be further from the truth. Although A.I. is getting better every day, we are far from the emotional beings with free will that you see on shows like Westworld.
A.I. is a sophisticated technology based on a set of instructions that are limited in scope. Real “intelligence” requires learning, and that, my friend, is a long ways off. However, on to the topic of today’s blog; why are chatbots important today? What can they do and how? Let’s find out.
One cannot talk about the benefits of chatbots without first, explaining in detail what chatbots are, and second, outlining the different functionalities of chatbots. Chatbot, from what the name suggests, means “robots” that have the capacity to chat; hence, a chatbot is a variety of bot that performs automated or autonomous functions in live online or social media platforms; that is, chatbots are bots that can have conversations with humans.
A chatbot is used by companies to interact on live chats with their customers. Chatbots are especially crucial in company websites, as they have become an integral part of the user experience. The integration of chatbots in applications reduces the limitations of human “interactors”—like online customer care representatives, as chatbots can run twenty-four hours every single day of the week.
There are three different varieties of chatbots:
Scripted chatbots are chatbots that follow strict programming rules. When a question is asked, scripted chatbots pick keywords and interpret the issue to the best possible variant; then, they give a scripted answer.
Intelligent chatbots are chatbots created with Artificial Intelligence attachments. These bots are usually used in narrow fields. They cannot function appropriately in broad areas as too much information might break them. Intelligent chatbots are flexible and can adapt with new information; they also assist humans with information—like providing videos to human “interactors.”
Application chatbots are created to provide answers in the form of the graphical interface in application widgets.
There are a few misconceptions about chatbots, including what they can do, and what they can’t do. Some of these misconceptions have given chatbots a bad name. See if you have heard any of these:
This misconception has been dramatically fuelled by the movies that show chatbots exercising human-like intelligence and emotions. Chatbots are limited in their functionalities and capacities. They often have to follow basic programming principles, and even chatbots designed to have artificial intelligence can only perform with flexibility in a narrow field of information.
Chatbots are often created to converse using a graphical interface. Bot creators and web developers are bearing towards the direction of a graphical interface rather than voice and text for interactions with humans.
Chatbots are not apps, but identity software that works with different applications and platforms. Facebook Messenger, Kik, Wechat, and other company software work with chatbots to interact with users and customers.
Movies also fuel this misconception. Chatbots cannot have the human capacity. They are created to ease the work of humans—especially in customer care services and information gathering services. Most chatbots are built to work well with humans.
So, no Ava from Ex Machina, or William, from Westworld or even HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Chatbots are an excellent resource for online interactions with customers in a 24/7 world. Not only can they provide customer care at any time of the day, but they can also communicate with multiple customers at one time and answer all the mundane questions; freeing up your customer care representative to solve the more complicated, or unique problems.
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