Have you ever heard of Cleverbot? If so, you probably think it’s a nice gimmick, but serves no real use except some entertainment. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Robots or Chatbots are among the hot debated subjects in many companies. What’s behind it, what can Chatbots do, and who is already using it? I did a quick research and ended up with purchasing a book about programming Chatbots.
So what is a Chatbot exactly?
Not only do Robots mow our lawn, help in the kitchen or automate whole houses, there are also software based robots, designed to talk to humans. As you can expect these Robots are not physical, but software or cloud applications. You may run into Chatbots on E-Commerce Shops, Helpdesks, and forums – literally everywhere, where Support might be immediately required.
Various websites offer a dialogue window where you can enter your questions. However, employees do not give the answers you will receive from a call center or from the help desk; instead the communication robot, the Chatbot, gives them. Machine learning has advanced a lot in the past years and Chatbots are able to develop and adapt to user profiles to personalize the answers. These answers are getting better and better and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell if it’s a human or a bot you are talking to.
Where are Chatbots already used?
Chatbots are mainly used on web sites or online shops as well as on support sites. Apps are using Chatbots to provide individualized services. Chatbots can be found within Facebook and Twitter too, simply known as – you guessed it – Socialbots. Of course, our favorite messengers such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp utilize Chatbots as well. For example on Tweets, Chatbots take care of the “Quick Replies” and “Welcome Messages” services. If you send a direct message to a company’s account, a Chatbot provides an instant first response and a pleasant customer support.
I need a Chatbot.. do I?
Most companies can indeed benefit from Chatbots, depending on the type of business and customer communications. When it comes to a quick first response to customer requests, mainly to show the presence in the support, Chatbots are undoubtedly helpful. Organizational processes such as bookings and purchase advice during online shopping with Chatbots turn out to be very helpful if the processes are standardized.
However, there are areas where Chatbots do not make sense in the near future, or only when Chatbots have much more artificial intelligence. Human consultants underpin Chatbots wherever they are dealing with specific problems and individual questions, since it is then about special experience, “gut feeling” and genuine transfer performance.
How to get your own Chatbot?
Caribou360 will make one. Caribou360 Titan sounds good right now or what about Caribot? We will see. Until then, Facebook for example, allows developers to create Chatbots that communicate with customers and prospects within Facebook Messenger. At the Build 2016, Microsoft introduced the Cortana Intelligence Suite. It uses technologies from the fields of big data, machine learning, analytics and largely automatically operating computer programs, also known as bots. Developers and companies can use the Bot Framework and the Azure Bot Service to design self-learning applications and bots that communicate with their users in a personalized way.
Will a Chatbot steal my job?
Chatbots will cost jobs in certain industries and professional areas. According to an Oracle study, Chatbots are to take over a large part of the customer service by 2020. 80% of the big brands will introduce Chatbots as customer consultants. In the area of development and artificial intelligence, new jobs are expected.