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AI Chatbot Technology – Its Staggering Benefits And How To Best Use

If you’ve ever contacted customer service, you surely know the excruciatingly dull experience of conversing with a chatbot. But that’s all in the past! Now, AI chatbots are emerging, brimming with the capacity to make speaking with one a much more pleasurable experience. For you to better understand AI chatbot technology, this article details the origins of chatbots and why AI chatbots are light years ahead of traditional rules-based chatbots. Also, explore several useful lists on the many ways an AI chatbot can help both businesses and even your personal life.

The Evolution Of Chatbots And Is It Inevitable That They Will Replace Humans?

The Origins And Future of Chatbot Software.

The origin of the chatbot arguably lies with Alan Turing’s 1950s vision of intelligent machines and the development of the Turing Test. Basically, this test was to measure how well a computer could simulate a conversation with a human. To explain, artificial intelligence (AI), the foundation for AI chatbots, has progressed since that time to include conversational AI applications such as IBM Watson and ChatGTP. In the near future, the original rules-based chatbots will soon be phased out by AI chatbots that are powered by machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP). 

AI Transformed the Humble Phone Tree Chatbot Into A Digital Assistant.

The original chatbot was the phone tree system. To explain, these systems shepherded phone-in customers through an automated customer service process, albeit often an arduous and irritating one. Now, thanks to advances in technology and the increasing sophistication of AI, ML, and NLP, these technologies have remade the chatbot into something new. Namely, it is now a digital assistant that can provide meaningful conversations, onscreen chats, and quick resolution to users’ requests. 

But I Don’t Like Talking To Chatbots.

Some may not be thrilled about the rise of AI chatbots. After all, who wants to talk to a robot when they could just talk to a friendly human? But don’t worry – these chatbots are getting smarter and smarter. Soon enough, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a bot and a human. So don’t worry, you can still talk to someone… sort of.

The Real Question To Ask, “Can AI Chatbots Do It Better?”

If the AI chatbot can provide you better customer service, does it really matter who or what you are communicating with? At best, it becomes more of a parlor game trying to detect if you are communicating with a human or a chatbot. For example, click here for a more modern Turing Test to help you determine if you are talking to a human or not. Surprisingly, it is getting quite hard to detect an advanced AI chatbot.

For more information on the origins of chatbots, see Oracle’s What Is A Chatbot?

“To the three great technological revolutions–the agricultural, the industrial, and the computational–we will add a fourth: the AI revolution.”

Moore’s Law For Everything, by Sam Altman

How Is an AI Chat Bot So Much Better Than A Traditional Rules-Based Chat Bot?

Early chatbots used rigid rules and resulted in poor user experiences. Over time, these chatbots have improved slightly with the use of keywords and suggested responses. However, these are no match for AI-powered chatbots that use natural language processing, understand context, and use machine-learning technology. Moreover, they continue to become more autonomous and smarter through self-learning.

Below is a listing of key AI chatbot features. Also, below is a list of AI chatbots functions that rules-based chatbots do not have, and the tremendous benefits of AI chatbots. 

1. AI Chatbot Key Features.

As an example of key features for a customer service AI chatbot, the following features were highlighted by Netomi’s article Best AI Chatbot.

  • Natural Language Understanding for human-like conversation
  • Reinforcement learning and ongoing optimization
  • Sentiment analysis for contextual next best action
  • Back-end systems integrations (CRM, OMS, etc.) for meaningful and personalized resolutions
  • Human escalation via agent desk integration (Zendesk, Freshworks, Salesforce, Khoros, Zoho, Sprinklr, Shopify)
  • Knowledge-base integration
  • Omni-channel (email, chat, voice, social)
  • Analytics and real-time reporting
  • Multi-lingual

2. Key AI Functions That AI Chatbot Have That Rules-Based Chatbots Do Not. 

Functionally, the best AI chatbots take advantage of four AI components. Specifically, these AI functions are: 

  • Recognizes Intent of Conversation. Specifically, intent comprehension utilizes large amounts of language data and business-specific training samples to semantically understand conversations. 
  • Extracts Entity Characteristics From Conversations. Here, entity extraction extracts related data like dates, places, numbers, etc. Also, this data is used as building blocks to interpret and define.
  • Manages Conversations. To detail, conversation management uses intent and entities to capture pertinent details from users and business systems for successful resolution. Also, it learns and remembers contextually relevant information about the user and the conversation.
  • Expands, Refines and Improves Vocabulary and Interpretations.  Specifically, expansion and transference algorithms refine and expand vocabularies and synonyms to improve interpretations.

3. Summary of Benefits of AI ChatBots

The benefits of AI chatbots are fairly self-evident due to its ever increasing capabilities and cost effectiveness when compared to having a full-staffed, 24-7 human-powered capability. Specifically, below is a summary of benefits.

  • Cost Effective Solution For Being Available, Real-Time and Scalable. In this case, AI chatbots can be available 24/7 to respond to your customers immediately. Also, AI chatbot can quickly take on more service interactions with minimum incremental costs as compared to expanding and training new staff.
  • Effective Data Collection, Minimum Errors, and Self-Learning. In particular, AI chatbots are extremely efficient at collecting user data without error. What’s more, the more data they collect, the more they are able to self-learn and continue to keep improving the customer experience.

“In the next five years, computer programs that can think will read legal documents and give medical advice. In the next decade, they will do assembly-line work and maybe even become companions. And in the decades after that, they will do almost everything, including making new scientific discoveries that will expand our concept of “everything”

Moore’s Law For Everything, by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI - AI Chatbot

How Can An AI Chatbot Help In Business And Even Our Personal Lives?

Below are several sets of lists on the many ways that AI Chatbots can help you in business and your personal life.

What Business Use Cases can AI Chatbots Help?

AI chatbots offer a variety of benefits to businesses across multiple functions. In particular, they can provide customer support, automate tedious tasks, help with HR, finance and accounting, and facilitate marketing and sales. For example, see SC Tech Insights’ Ecommerce Chatbot Examples: The 11 Ways That Successful Businesses Can Actually Secure Results for how chatbots and AI technology are helping companies’ eCommerce operations.

Ecommerce Chatbot Examples: The 11 Ways That Successful Businesses Can Actually Secure Results. Any company that has an eCommerce operation is missing out if they are not using chatbots.  Further if your business uses a chatbot, you still may be missing out as chatbot technology is changing fast with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). Click here, for 11 eCommerce chatbot examples that include the full range of chatbot use cases available today. Even better, these use cases showcase companies like Starbucks, HelloFresh, and Nike to name a few that have successfully deployed chatbots in eCommerce operations. 

“If you want to create a great product, just focus on one person. Make that one person have the most amazing experience ever.”

Brian Chesky

How Does An AI Chatbot Help In Different Industries?

AI chatbots can be used in a variety of industries, from healthcare to finance. For instance, in healthcare, they can be used to provide medical advice and reminders to patients. Also in finance, they can be used to provide financial advice and guidance. For examples, see below:

  • E-commerce and Retail. Here AI chatbots can supplement or act as customer service agents. Specifically they offer product information, personalized product recommendations, and order and return processing. For example, see SC Tech Insights’ Ecommerce Chatbot Examples: The 11 Ways That Successful Businesses Can Actually Secure Results for how chatbots and AI technology are helping companies’ eCommerce operations.
  • Financial Services.  For banks and credit unions, they answer customer questions, provide account details, and give advice on saving and investing.
  • Healthcare. For example, hospitals and clinics use AI chatbots for appointment scheduling and medication information.
  • Education. Here AI chatbots can provide student feedback, teacher assessment, and administrative assistance
  • Insurance.  For instance, insurance companies use AI chatbots for claims filing, status updates, and other tasks.
  • Manufacturing. Specifically, AI chatbots help manufacturers  with vendor management, crew assistance, workplace maintenance, product recalls, and HR tasks
  • Travel and Hospitality. Here, Airlines and hospitality companies use AI chatbots to help customers with ticketing, online check-ins, and other travel arrangements.

So there are countless ways businesses can use AI chatbot across all industries. In the future, there may even be new services that AI chatbots can do that we have not even thought of. As an example, see article from TheVerge’s DoNotPay is launching an AI chatbot that can negotiate your bills.

AI Chatbot Software For Personal Productivity and Emotional Support

Also, AI chat bots can help with personal productivity by automating mundane tasks and allowing users to focus on more important tasks. Moreover, AI chat bots can be used for emotional support, as they are able to provide comfort and understanding to those who are feeling lonely or depressed. Examples include:

  • Personal Productivity. Bizzabo (acquired is an example of a personal productivity chatbot. Specifically, these types of chatbots have features such as meeting scheduler, meeting tracker, auto-responder, calendar integration, e-mail integration, and so on.
  • Companion / Emotional Support.  Yes, there is a market for these types of chatbots where they are fun to talk to and can help overcome loneliness.. For example, Replika chatbot learns to imitate users, recognizes messages and voice, integrates with other apps, and has a customized avatar.

For more information and references about AI chatbots, see Netomi’s Best AI Chatbots, PowerVirtualAgents’ AI Chatbots, and more recommended Best AI Chatbots from Hubspot.

For more information from SC Tech Insights on AI, Data Analytics, & Robotics, click here.

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