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Innovative chatbots

Science fiction has always depicted AI as a kind of machine that can communicate and behave like humans in society. While research on artificial intelligence had already begun by the late 1950s, it wasn’t until the advent of Big Data that AI picked up and became the technological behemoth it is today. 

Artificial intelligence has expanded into countless use-cases and industries, enriching the lives of humans globally. AI started as small computer programs that could play checkers and solve word problems. It has since grown into being able to predict stock markets and election results. While we still don’t have talking robots, or at least not too many, we do have easy access to chatbots. And, some of them have developed into the most strange but interesting use-cases for artificial intelligence the world has ever seen. 

Innovative chatbots

While chatbots may seem human, it’s important to note that they are just lines of code, a string of 1s and 0s floating through cyberspace. However, what they lack in human behavior, they make up for with superior natural language processing, neural networks, and deep learning. This makes chatbots awesome devices that can simulate humans and keep them hooked. Here are some of the most popular ones:

ALICE

It’s hard to talk about chatbots without mentioning ALICE: Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity. It is the first chatbot ever popularized on the web. Developed by Dr. Richard Wallace over 25 years ago, ALICE holds up reasonably well to this day. While her answers don’t always hit the mark, it’s easy to forget how old this code is after even a short conversation with ALICE. 

Sometimes ALICE gives answers that sounded more futuristic than expected at the time. People will remember ALICE for how it spurred the development of numerous, arguably more advanced chatbots over the next couple of decades. ALICE was also the inspiration for the AI computer in the 2013 Academy Award-winning science-fiction film, Her.

Endurance

Designed to help Alzheimer’s patients feel less lonely Endurance is one of the most helpful chatbots for older individuals who suffer from short-term memory loss and dementia. This open-source chatbot was created to identify deviations in conventional branches that could mean problems for immediate recollection, which can be quite the challenge for natural language processing systems. 

Anyone can contribute to the project’s code-base. Though it isn’t fully fleshed out yet, it could potentially provide researchers and scientists more insight into how memory loss works, and how it can be helped. Since the platform is based on the cloud, doctors and family members can review communication logs instantly. This helps identify potential degradation in short-term memory. Further, it takes the burden off family members to constantly be available as a companion.

U-Report

Global child advocacy non-profit organization, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is now using chatbots to help citizens in developing countries to speak out about their communities’ urgent needs. The U-Report chatbot enables large-scale data gathering via polls. By regularly sending out polls prepared according to a range of urgent social issues, users can respond with what needs to be tackled first. UNICEF is then able to use this feedback to create or amend potential policy recommendations. 

In Liberia, this rather basic chatbot was able to create major impact waves by finding out whether teachers were convincing students to have sex in exchange for better grades. 86% of the 13,000 Liberian children involved responded about the issues, which led to a collaborative project between UNICEF and Liberia’s Minister of Education to eradicate the problem.

Woebot

Woebot is a chatbot with a cartoon mascot that helps reduce depression through active listening. Psychologist Alison Darcy developed it at Stanford University. It also praises the user with funny GIFs, memes, and encouragement. The New York Times, Wired, and Business Insider has featured this chatbot multiple times over the years.

They praised its, “gentle attentiveness and sensitivity to emotions.” The chatbot is available to those who need a confidence boost, guidance, or even just a friend. Woebot is available for download on  Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, and users have applauded its funny and likable personality, despite some scripted lines popping up here and there. 

Insomnobot 3000

Created by Casper, which specializes in mattresses and pillows, this is the most well-named chatbot on the list. Casper developed Insomnobot 3000 to help insomniacs find someone to talk to as they lie awake in bed. The chatbot’s website reads, “A friendly, easily distracted bot designed to keep you company when you just can’t fall asleep. Extra chatty between 11 pm-5 am.”The interface is also much more intuitive, as users don’t need to visit a particular website or download an app to talk to the chatbot. Instead, they are required to text the number provided on the website, similar to how you would text a friend late at night. The bot does bring up some product suggestions here and there, but it never becomes overbearing. It was also included on Forbes as one of the most amazing examples of online chatbots in practice. 

DoNotPay

Everyone cannot afford legal counsel, especially when wrongly accused. DoNotPay is a chatbot developed to help users dispute parking tickets, by guiding you through the process without any lawyer interaction. 

If user reviews are to be believed, the service has been quite successful at achieving its goal and empowers users to settle legal matters from the palm of their hands. It’s also helping individuals actively learn about their rights as citizens. While this isn’t the most conversational chatbot, it serves its purpose well and is one of the most strange but interesting use-cases of artificial intelligence. 

Robot Vera

It is a networking Legal and HR chatbot that business enterprises use to solve many issues relating to the recruitment, legal paperwork, etc. smoothly. Robot Vera can improve the workflow and productivity of companies.

Robot Vera assists HR teams by automatically analyzing resume databases and calling candidates that make a good fit. The conversational AI filters out the applications received for a position to merely 10% of the best suitable ones. It then informs candidates about the job description, schedules and conducts telephonic interviews or video chats.

Robot Vera can evaluate the answers of applicants and perform recruitment tasks almost 10 times faster than humans perform. It can hire employees, handle complex office situations, and even fire them if needed.

BabyCentre UK

BabyCentre UK belongs to Johnson & Johnson, a reputed name in childcare. This bot helps answer questions about pregnancy and childbirth. It can calculate the due date of would-be mothers and guide them for preparing for childbirth. It also provides many resources on self-care for moms going through all stages of motherhood.

The bot provides information on how to get pregnant, weekly articles during pregnancy, health care of the mother and the baby, when to call a doctor for your baby, why your baby does not sleep, among many others. It also provides mothers with a forum to share their doubts and experiences.

Watson Assistant

IBM, a leader in the computer manufacturing space, developed this advanced chatbot. It holds the content of varied industries and is pre-trained for industry-specific use cases, using data relevant to that industry. It can understand historical chat, call logs, search queries and also respond to issues using its knowledge base.

The Watson Assistant can be part of your company’s website, messaging channels, customer service tools adapted, and your mobile apps. The chatbot offers a visual dialog editor making your zero experience of coding your power in developing a new feature.

Replika

Replika is a virtual companion chatbot that intends to promote mental wellness. Users can complain or talk about anything, from their failed relationships to their deepest desires. Replika helps people meet their emotional needs. It soothes them when they feel anxious or heartbroken and need an inspiring or comforting chat. Users can select various options for self-motivation, depending on their choice.

Conclusion

As chatbots continue to become an integral part of our society, the trust placed on user privacy and data collection only increases. Today chatbots can send you money, order your pizza, and as shown above, even settle your legal disputes. These can be frightening from the perspective of AI becoming intelligent enough to make humans obsolete. And this is a question developers keep in mind and debate frequently within the AI community. 

AI bots

Whether you’re tracking short-term memory loss or just need a friend, there is a chatbot out there for you. And they continue to learn with every conversation they have.. They’re on Facebook Messenger, Reddit, and even Slack. The last time you opened a chat with a customer service representative, an AI chatbot most likely handled it. If Google Duplex has shown us anything, it’s that AI might become a much more integral part of our lives than previously envisioned. 

Humans have become more comfortable with chatbots and AI. Artificial intelligence systems are learning more about how humans communicate, behave and function. Perhaps we can live in a world where humans and machines live in harmony. After all, most of the time, we just need someone to talk to.

The need for high-quality chatbot training data

Technology enhancements in computer-human interaction have allowed us to seamlessly interact with computers. Conversational AI has pampered us with privileges such as instant responses, 24/7 access, and a user-friendly medium for conversation. From setting up medical appointments to online check-ins for flights, AI chatbots have gained prominence.

what is a chatbot

If you’re unaware, a chatbot is a software that can simulate a conversation with a real-life user. It conducts conversation either by chatting or speaking.

The major challenges faced while developing a chatbot include the following:

  • Developing it to perceive text/voice messages.
  • Training it to understand how to respond to such messages
  • Maintaining conversational etiquette

The solution to the above challenges lies in high-quality training data. Training data is the lifeblood of AI/ML models, and its importance is no lesser for conversational AI. Chatbot datasets usually comprise a large volume of query-response pairs (in audio or text) that the chatbot can use for developing its interaction skills.

Here’s why there’s a need for high-quality chatbot training data:

Understanding human language

Human interaction is complicated, and that has a lot to do with how rich and diverse human languages are. This means chatbots need to understand the nitty-gritty of grammar and conversational flow. Conversational datasets allow chatbots to learn from a large number of examples, from which they can learn sentence construction. Such datasets also allow chatbots to learn cases of grammar rule exemptions (as is commonly found in the English language).

Tone detection

As native speakers of a language, we understand which words signify which tones. We understand which statements represent happiness or sadness and pleasure or anger. While these things are simple to us, they need to be ingrained into a chatbot. We can’t have a chatbot responding to an “I’ve been having a bad day.” with an “I’m so happy for you!”

Understanding tone matters a lot while we communicate, and it ought to matter for intelligent beings trying to interact with us.

Clean conversational data

If the training datasets aren’t clean or free of issues, do not expect your AI/ML model to function as intended. With conversational AI, the clarity and cleanness of its training data determines its ability to interact fluently with people. 

Common issues with chatbot training data include:

  • Wrong punctuations
  • Inaccurate word choices
  • Illegible sentences

Unclean conversational datasets usually suffer from grammar issues. Fixing those issues goes a long way in ensuring clean chatbot responses.

Relevant conversational data

Every chatbot is tackling a particular use case. Companies use chatbots for customer service (by food delivery, e-commerce, and banking services among many others), health diagnoses, and personal assistants.

For a conversational AI system to become any of the above, it needs to be fed the relevant datasets. If the chatbot at hand needs to support banking customers, it needs to understand the various processes customers perform and the issues the face. Conversational datasets that depict this help chatbots understand how to interact with such customers and it also trains them to solve customer queries and take action and responsibility.

Conclusion 

The process of formulating a response by a chatbot

A chatbot gets defined by the training data it consumes. It truly becomes what it eats. Chatbots are being adopted all across numerous areas of our lives, and results have shown that we like interacting with these intelligent beings. They make the interaction between people and organizations simpler. They enhance customer service and improve overall efficiency. But, building systems that can interact effectively with people brings about the need to learn how to be like us. That involves time taken to understand what it means to be human, and high-quality conversational datasets hold the answer to achieving that.

How chatbots are redefining customer experience

Chatbots’ reliability and consistency in serving customers have changed the way the world created the customer experience. A company that regularly communicates with customers can experiment and improve using AI-based chatbots. Digital transformation can favor the customer service and experience. The world is moving fast and so are the technological advancements. If you intend to draw benefits from implementing the latest technology, there is no reason for further delay.

Why Customer Experience Is Important For Every Business?

Customer experience is a trophy that companies receive for something they do with pride. Companies focusing on improved customer experience know the worth of single positive feedback, share, comment and rebound effect it creates. New customer acquisition and maintenance of existing customers are crucial for market sustainability. Returning customers are solid proof of the experience you created for them. 

Customer loyalty is not achievable with marketing tactics it is a long-term investment in the customer relationship. The customers, who have a guarantee towards service or product, trust the companies. The companies in return continue to provide flawless service. Customer experience is a key feature in brand building. Attracting new customers is challenging and bringing back a lost customer is even tougher. 

Customer satisfaction has a direct impact on revenues and the company’s reputation. Thus, customer experience is of ultimate importance to every business.

How Has Customer Experience Changed Over The Years?

The customer experience has changed with the availability of the internet and loads of information that influences the decisions. The power of researching about the product, services, and the competitor’s brands raises the overall expectations. The features, the price, functionality, use of advanced technology, and response from the company all such expectations have changed with the market. The launch of the latest technology based affordable solutions is changing their demand.

Customer support is no more just issue resolution team; the general queries related to product, price, and availability are part of customer service. The location constraint; faced by customer care is removed by chatbots and it eases the process. It has changed the way the pre and post-sales interactions take place. Customer experience should be enjoyable, useful, and reliable. B2C businesses have a great opportunity to create a better customer experience.

What Are Chatbots?

Chatbots are AI-based conversational robots designed for the specific needs of the company and its services. The software executes automated tasks like communicating with users without any human control over the bot. These chat platforms either independent or via websites are effective through the internet. The chatbots developed with specific purposes as discussion and basic plus extended conversation with humans are just like instant messages.

The response to the queries is spontaneous and machine learning helps them process the requests. Chatbots can respond to the text and voice inquiries and perform the required actions. The knowledgebase helps chatbots to search for accurate response by combining information to communicate. The best examples of chatbots are Alexa from Amazon, Siri by Apple, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Home.

Companies like Pizza Hut, Uber, eBay, Lyft, Emirates, Bank of America, MongoDB, LeadPages, TechCrunch, and many more are already using chatbots to deliver a better experience to the customers.

Grand View Research Report says that the chatbot market globally is predicted to reach USD 1.2 billion in just ten years. The report says that the demand for intelligent virtual assistants is rising with automatic speech recognition and text to speech conversion. 

Why Do We Need Chatbots?

These instant messengers create a personal and real life-like experience. The speed and precision it brings to the customer service are securing chatbots position in businesses. The growth of the business is a factor that invites companies to get their own chatbots. 

Customization of messages is the next step for the improvement in chatbots. Repeating the same messages does not make sense hence learning from the customer behavior helps. Companies use chatbots by keeping their goals in mind; bringing relevance to the user journey, create intimate experiences, and engage with users.

Chatbots used uniquely for sending product updates, promotional messages, and product comparisons can deliver a better experience. We can collect user data, offer services, and replicate human interactions. The search for information is simplified, communicating can be easier, and personalization of information is possible too.

Chatbots take care of the basic level of communication. In case of inability to solve or in case of customer dissatisfaction; it passes to human handled customer service process.

Chatbots are available full time; they eliminate the waiting period for attendance by a customer care representative. They save money on companies spent on calls and customer care activities. You save on hiring and training costs of customer care executives.

Chatbots have no dependency on moods, feelings, interpretations and have no perception of who should behave how nor do they respond considering this. Chatbots can be effective at any given time and can do mundane tasks with the same precision every time without being bored.

Why Chatbots Are The Future Of Customer Service?

A survey by Business Insider suggests that 80% of the enterprises will use chatbots by the year 2020.

Businesses like banks, telecom, retail chains, e-commerce, and many industries use chatbots as virtual assistants for customer support. Initial training costs are higher but the inquiry management and response save costs and time in the long run. It works on FAQs, the questions that are similar but framed differently by the users. The software allows the bot to explore the existing data about the user and the information stored on the topic. 

The ability to understand the queries, recognition of terminology, dialogues, and presentation of the query is machine learning. A chatbot can identify if it is a statement or problem, select a proper template for the response, cross-check with the user if the understanding of the question is correct. 

The data is collected from various sources by the bot; it is cleaned, segregated, marked, and classified for reference. The data built from the customer service center e-mails, manual chats, training material, and call recordings are useful in improving customer experience. The dialogues that happen in this process are repetitive and this helps template creation and standardization of responses. The personal information from this data removed intelligently works in favor of companies. The intention is to extract the question-answer sets for further use.

The sequencing of data helps in organic search for the chatbot reducing the mistakes in understanding the questions. Chatbots can rectify typo errors and reframe the question-received input. Speak the language your audience uses not in terms of spoken language but the latest terms. Solve actual problems by asking relevant questions. Avoid missing opportunities by being available 24X7. A single chatbot can enter into multiple conversations that earlier needed a lot of employees.

Independently owned company or a large organization both can benefit from AI Chatbots. The companies with fewer resources or high frequency of customer conversations, in both the cases the chatbots, can serve more practically. Salesforce survey indicates that 64% of the agents can solve complex problems as AI Chatbots deal with the basic ones. 

The customer experience is changing and the expectations are rising with the immediate response in 42% cases and response in less than 5 mins in 36% cases. The speed with which chatbots communicate, businesses will certainly churn information fast to serve faster. (Salesforce.com)

How Are Chatbots Used In Business?

Businesses and customers can get a reliable solution from assistance AI-based chatbots provide.

  • Answering questions 
  • Redirecting to FAQs
  • Providing detailed explanations 
  • Resolving complaints 
  • Bill payments 
  • Flight or restaurant booking 
  • Schedule meetings
  • Purchase items 
  • Managing subscriptions
  • Creating a brand image

How Are AI Chatbots Bettering Customer Experience And How Data Is Enabling This?

Artificial intelligence involves machine learning. AI creates intelligent machines, and ML creates systems that can learn from experience. The eBay chatbot enables a user to chat using a smartphone or Google Home and it can purchase a product at the lowest price with your instructions.

The data collected by asking questions on chat, collected from surveys or any brochures/e-books the user downloads are stored for future use. This data helps to communicate with the user in the future. The preferences of users are stored; this creates a strong rapport and good impression. The feeling that the company knows the customer is special. The customer can relate to how well a company deals with data. The latest offers during the chat process ease registration, with existing information. There is no need for the user to create logins.

The data AI chatbots uses increases customer engagement rate, build brand awareness, and creates a personalized experience. The amounts of e-mails read less or not opened, due to flooded inboxes. The chatbots allow us to share the same amount of information at a faster pace. Chatbots can send text, image, pdf, or message in any form. This restriction less communication introduces increased activities of marketing and promotion.

Chatbots are effective and soon may replace the search window on the websites. Creating a chatbot requires an understanding of the business as well as a target customer. If your customer base for the product is the 16-30 age group of chatbot can be a perfect solution. For the age group of 55-65 maybe the design with voice command or connect calls would work better instead. The internet connectivity is the dependency for chatbot hence the drops in the internet or limited availability can be an obstacle in serving efficiently.

The AI data is useful for training purposes, analysis, and serving the customers better. The situations that arise occasionally and some that arise regularly are included in training the customer representatives with the accumulated data.

The Future Of Customer Experience And Chatbot

AI chatbots are preferred by most of the companies as it saves time, money, and efforts. About 46% of internet users in the US would choose live support instead of a chatbot as per a survey by usabilla.com.

Machine learning increases the accuracy level of chatbots. ML allows the system to learn from the data but AI helps in decision-making. ML finds the solution for a user but AI will find an optimal solution. The advanced systems can go beyond the general chat. They let the user know that they are speaking to a Chatbot. This can change the way they ask questions and the response received from the bot can become more acceptable.

According to the report by Global Market Insights, the market worth of chatbot will be $1.34 billion by the year 2024 and nearly 42% will be dedicated to customer service.

Connect the AI Chatbots created by you with facebook messenger, Alexa, Siri or any of the reliable bots to increase efficiency. Chatbots can help take actions that are interaction or information-based. The user can actually complete the task of purchase, shopping, booking from the same chat window. There remains no need for a user to search for other ways of completing the task. It saves time and effort of the users and the companies get faster conversions.

AI can hold conversations as humans do, these dialogues create comfort and trust for users to participate in product/service-related feedback or surveys. The simple and complex form of communication with the prospects and existing customers is levered by the chatbots.

Chatbots were in making since the 1950s but today they have shape conversations using the triggers as keywords. Chatbots are better listeners and thus provide better solutions to the problems. The designing of chatbot involves humans hence the customization is programmable. 

The chatbot applications are useful in customer service, social media marketing, and order processing. Sectors like BFSI, Media& Entertainment, Healthcare, Retail, and Travel & Tourism are widely using these solutions. The deployment of Chatbots can be on-premise or cloud, both opens easy ways of dealing with customers. 

With gradual development, the concerns of delay in response, irrelevant suggestions, sharing of inaccurate information, misunderstood requests, or unhelpful responses have become a checkpoint. This is not the failure of chatbot but the development stage, which can assure improvement by the involvement of AI companies. The continuous growth in AI technology is the commitment of experts for the betterment of human life including the business aspects.