Did you happen to call your salon for an appointment? Or to get status of your appointment. Chances are you interacted with a Chatbot.
These Chatbots can be smooth talkers. There is no way to identify whether you are talking to a real person or a robot. And I’m not talking about a far future but the present.
Yes. These chatbots are here already.
With continuous improvements in the technologies, we are finally entering into the era of Artificial Intelligence. The advancement in nanotechnologies has given birth to a new era.
Today, you can store gigs of data in less than a millimetre space. And not only that, computational speeds have grown at an exponential rate. It seems to follow Moore’s Law till now-
Processing Power doubles while the prices halve every two years.
Today your smartphones have more processing power than the combined power of past 30 years from 2000. AI is a consequence of such power.
In this article, I’m going to explore the growing possibilities of Chatbots and how they will impact the lives of every human. They are going to be the next Customer Service in all verticals.
Let’s Understand the Concept of Chatbots in a Human Way
A chatbot is a Bot. More specifically, it is a breed of Bot.
Just like different breeds of a Dog. There are different breeds of Bots.
A bot (generally speaking) is any software that performs an automated task, however, a bot that lives in a Chat Platform is called a Chatbot.
Another definition of a chatbot would be a software that can have a conversation with a human.
There are so many ways a user can interact with a chatbot. He could either query required information as he would do with a human Customer Service or he could command the chatbot to perform a certain task. Either way, the user will interact by conversation. And that is the whole purpose behind a chatbot.
Chatbots have found their place in the human world.
Types of Chatbots
Chatbots can be broadly categorized into 2 types:
- Scripted Chatbots
- Intelligent Chatbots
Let’s talk about the scripted chatbots.
I’m sure you have already encountered a scripted chatbot. Maybe the chatbot you interacted with was not intelligent enough to disguise as human but it did solve your query.
Scripted Chatbots follow pre-defined paths
Scripted Chatbots are the ones who are programmed for a pre-defined path. These are the bots that ask you to press the respective button to perform a defined task.
A familiar example would be your mobile operator self-service number where a mechanical voice instructs you of the different options and tasks it could perform and assign a number to each task. You are then required to press the number to perform the required task.
Every time I encountered a Scripted Chatbot, I ended up being frustrated :/
Intelligent Chatbots are Human-Like
Intelligent Chatbots are more like humans. They communicate in your natural language. And make their decision on the basis of the input they get.
In other words, these do not follow a pre-destined path. They choose response based on the query made by the user. Just like you saw in the video at the beginning of this article.
Intelligent bots are
Past, Present and Future Era of Chatbots
If I talk about the past, i.e. more than 20 years ago. Intelligent Chatbots only existed in the sci-fi movies, superhero comics and magazines.
However, scripted chatbots have been around
Well, What you say was the Past.
Today, chatbots have evolved a lot and have started replacing Customer Services for most of the companies. Every major company has its own bot.
Like Google have Google Assistant. Apple have Siri. Microsoft have Cortana. Amazon have Alexa.
These are smart bots. They can do a range of work for you and communicate in a natural language. If you use Google home then it is capable of adjusting the temperature of the room. It can play songs for you. Schedule meetings and give information about the traffic condition and time it would take you to reach at a point B.
If you want to amaze your friends by introducing them to the capabilities of Google Home then here’s a free Amazon Kindle guide for you: Google Home Guide.
Another amazing super bot is Amazon’s Alexa which is accessible through Echo Dot (a product of Amazon). Alexa is capable of doing a range of task just like Google home but I find it more stylish and also the fact that it is developing a sense of humor 🙂
Take a look at this review,
If you want to look at the price and other features and review then Amazon is the best place to do that. Follow the link: Amazon Echo.
What’s in the future?
The evolution in Machine Learning have brought a lot of new possibilities with it. In 2017, Elon Mush went on with creating a AI that fought with the pro gamers of Dota 2 and won easily. This was a great achievement in the process of machine evolution.
But here’s the breakthrough:
Elon Musk used the game data to program the AI, whereas, in 2018 Google Deep mind published a paper on AlphaGo Zero (a new machine learning AI).
This was a game changer. It is far more superior than the prior AI. It is capable of processing the huge amounts of data and learn from it.
Soon enough it became more powerful without even feeding the Game data to it. Amazing. Isn’t it?
Another milestone that is closing in the next 5 years is Teaching a Superbot to do stuff you want. Soon, you will be teaching/training bots (just like you train your dog) to perform certain tasks for you.
Yes, we are working towards making a real world Jarvis.
Chatbots as a New & Improved Customer Service
I want to give you a glimpse of how Chatbots will dominate the Customer Service in the coming years.
Currently, if you need information on a topic or you want to perform certain task beyond the user control, you talk to Customer Service. And there is a human operator (Customer Service Agent) on the other side that makes use of a separate portal to access that information for you. It takes extra time to use the Portal and access the information and on top of that the work is pretty repetitive.
Superbots Leverage Parallel Processing
One major drawback with Human Customer Service is lack of parallelism. One agent can treat one user query at a given time. It’s serial. It’s slow. Super bots are not limited to that. They can serve any number of users in parallel.
Imagine a super bot in the place of a Customer Service Agent. You ask a bot the same question. It contacts with the backend real time and gives you the required information. All this would take only a fraction of a second. Although, extra delay is added to make the conversation sound real 🙂
Superbots are Cost Effective
These are artificial machines that runs on electricity. And electricity is cheap. They do not ask for food, shelter or money.
They work selflessly. They do not have human emotions and it makes them perfect for task completion.
The Superbots can work for day and night non-stop for eternity. After all bots are machines and they do not get tired like human beings.
If you are going to employ a customer service agent in India. You will pay an average of $224 to each employee. And in a
Whereas if you choose a Superbot to automate the process, it will cost you zero for 15000 audio
But if you are a large enterprise then it will cost you $0.0065 for 15 seconds of audio support. This pricing is for the service offered by Dialog Flow. You can see the entire pricing on the following page: Dialog Flow Pricing.
Bottom Line: Superbots are Cost Effective.
If you want a chatbot for your website then feel free to contact me.
Let me know your views in the comments below.