AI Chatbot: How Machines Deliver Humanlike Conversational Experiences
The world is on our fingertips, quite literally. Digitization has transformed society into a more hands on and mobile-first population. Just like the millennials are saying it, “instead of calling me, text.”
With this increase in popularity for messaging apps, chatbots are now the new cool kid on the block. They play a very vital role in this mobile-driven transformation. In fact, the intelligent conversational chatbots are literally changing the face of interaction between businesses and their customers.
Initially, chatbots were only supposed to have fundamental interactions with customers. But now they offer much more advanced features like taking a pizza order, slot filling, or other simple transactional capabilities. One must note that only sophisticated conversational AI chatbots have the capacity and intelligence to deliver such commands.
In the past few years, smartphones, wearables, and the IoT have changed the landscape of technology to the next level. Humans are much more reliant on machines, and machines are becoming much more human-like as we speak.
Conversational AI is now the new medium through which humans and computers communicate. This sounds like a plot from one of those sci-fi movies. But it’s all really happening. With the world making such fast progress in every field, almost nothing should surprise you. In fact, after you are done reading this article, you will be prompted with many app ads that will persuade you to learn more about conversational AIs.
According to a report by Gartner, by 2022, almost 70% of white-collar employees will interact with conversational AIs daily.
What is Conversational AI?
A combination of three technologies: artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and messaging apps, are conversational AI. Although voice recognition is more like a 90s thing now, combined with AI, it has definitely been a game-changer for many companies. Look around you, you are surrounded by Alexas and Siris. And this technology is only evolving further, all thanks to deep learning.
How do they work?
If we are using layman’s terms, a chatbot is simply something that performs a series of interconnected commands. An intelligent chatbot is capable of learning and using that learning to improve its performance. There are also bots that are created for narrower functions. They are supposed to deliver desirable outcomes, plan a multi-step process to achieve the desired result, and work autonomously. This can also be referred to as the “sense-think-act” process.
While we talk about the functionality of chatbots, we must confess that some chatbots are remarkably authentic with the conversational experience they offer in today’s time. Here’s how chatbots work on a fundamental level:
- The chatbot records what the users inputs: sound or text.
- Next, it processes the user’s command. This is called Natural Language Processing (NLP).
- Uses machine language to analyze human conversation.
- Based on the analysis, the bot determines the next step. In most cases, the answers are prewritten. But sometimes the solutions are generated through current or archived conversations.
- And finally, the response is generated into human speech through the process of Natural Language Generation.
While it is all machine, the idea is to make sure that a conversational AI can mimic conversations with real people through the means of digital technologies.
The must-have features of AI chatbots
The chatbot should be able to converse effortlessly across multiple digital platforms and be able to retain data.
The chatbot must have the bandwidth to be integrated with complex systems both inside and outside CRM. It should be able to deliver real-time action.
The chatbot must consist of exceptional NLP capabilities to understand the conversation and context in multiple languages.
Seamless usability and attractive UI and UX are must in a conversational chatbot. Since chatbots are not a new feature, brands need to make their interface transparent, efficient, and easy to use.
You cannot define the source and medium of your customer. So you need to make sure that the chatbot is flexible enough to assist your customer across all channels and devices.
The most crucial feature in a chatbot is the reasoning. It needs to be able to perform logic without human intervention. This is when the case histories and archived scenarios come in the picture. A chatbot needs to be able to refer to those when in need.
Why do businesses need chatbots?
Enhance customer service
Chatbots are the key to better customer engagement. Let’s get one thing clear, chatbots are not a replacement for humans. They are just a machine to make the process much seamless and improve overall customer service.
The best part about having chatbots is the 24/7 availability via texts, emails, social media, or live chat. In this age of millennials, this is something every business needs.
Automate routine work
Chatbots can ensure that regular admin work is taken care of. The processes that need no human effort and are incredibly dull and consistent can be taken care of. Thus leaving more room for improvement and productivity.
The personalization of user experience is something every brand is looking to achieve and improve. Brands can have a loyal group of customers if they have a better one-on-one experience with them. This can happen when they are available for the customer when he/she needs it. This is where chatbots are your key.
Chatbots have pre-written information fed into them, making it easier to assist the customer. For instance, websites and most searched topics, as well as relevant content, can be easily shared with the users through chatbots without delay.
Future of AI Chatbots
Just like every other AI tool, chatbots will be used to enhance human capabilities. Chatbots are supposed to make our lives easier and become much more creative and innovative when we are able to invest in more tactical and strategic activities.
The recommendations and predictions from chatbots are supposed to get faster in the near future as they are looking to be combined with 5G technology. That just means easy access to high-definition video in a conversation and not only text. Eventually, there will come a time when every person in the world will be having their own personal AI assistant and having more conversations with a machine than with mankind.
Well, with the whole pandemic and all, that does not seem like such a bad thing. Does it?