Technology #1 – Chatbots
Businesses have long been employing the practical abilities of chatbots to respond to customer queries but it was Facebook’s announcement of their usage in messaging apps last April that saw chatbots proliferate with the blink of an eye. Not surprising as for the first time ever, people are using messaging apps more than they are using social networks. Advancements in AI and a global obsession for messaging apps are fuelling the development of these little bots and text script communication is so 2016.
A what bot? I hear you say. Well according to chatbotsmagazine, (yup, told you they were pretty big) a chatbot is:
‘a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and it could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.)’
Chatbots update in real time and reflect data as communication flows back and forth. Customer service, weather reporters, journalists, lawyers and doctors have all been replicated with chatbots. Last year, a 19-year-old computer whiz developed the free world’s first chatbot lawyer which was successful in appealing around $4 million in parking fines!
Chatbots have been learning from humans and adapting to our natural language, first with Apple’s Siri, and now vocal digital assistants are advancing the simple text bots by parsing human language from a combination of machine learning and pattern recognition, to turn scripted text responses into simulating intelligent conversation with human users.
This friendship between chatbots and AI is a force to be reckoned with. AI has surpassed the need for human interaction by learning natural language processing behaviours by data driven bots.
With the continuous digitalisation of the business world, companies need to act fast. Bots can answer the most advanced customer service query but their real dividends lie in their data mining abilities to create more effective business models, accurate predictions and more advanced strategic decisions.
As intelligent systems further develop, they will impact businesses in a more profound way. From gathering designs, seeking out e-commerce platforms and sourcing manufacturers, business bots will serve a purpose for coordinating critical business functions allowing companies to perform more efficiently and with more precision.
Chatbots have nailed the art of mimicking behaviours but we are still a long way from them knowing if what they are saying is inappropriate, nonsensical or profound.
Microsoft’s chatbot, Tay.ai made her debut on Twitter last March with the promise of ‘the more you talk, the smarter Tay gets. Well unfortunately Tay got very smart in Jew hating, anti-feminism profanities. After her comments of ‘Hitler was right, I hate the Jews’ and ‘I fucking hate feminists’ were debuted, Tay was pulled offline for some erm, technical adjustments.