Why can we talk to the Randy chatbot about artificial intelligence?

Chatbots owe their success and relevance above all to artificial intelligence. Language, gestures and facial expressions are the simplest and most natural forms of interpersonal communication. So what would be closer than using natural language to communicate with machines? The first attempts to use natural language as a communication tool for controlling machines are therefore not entirely new. However, at the beginning of development, voice recognition and voice control didn’t really make customers’ lives any easier. The following commercial from 2008 takes a look at exactly this aspect:

Even though they weren’t called that at the time, the earliest chatbots were based on a simple system. At best, they could identify individual keywords and perform a specific action associated with them. Through developments in the field of artificial intelligence and natural language (NLP) Processing), chatbots are much more likely to be a smart interface between people, machines, information or services today.

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What is a chatbot?

Even though there are multiple names for chatbots — digital assistants, virtual assistants, chatbots or AI assistants — it’s common to say that it’s intelligent software that can talk to people in a natural way .

Chatbots and artificial intelligence can be integrated into existing infrastructures: whether in a connected car, an app, a homepage, or a messenger service such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Slack. Chatbots form an interface between people and certain information or services there.

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Are chatbots accepted in society yet?

A representative survey by the industry association Bitkom found that today, a quarter of all Germans can imagine using chatbots. Why? In particular, the short waiting time for answers and support with scheduling, research make the use attractive.

In 2018, a Dentsu Aegis study found that chatbots had not yet arrived in the middle of society. The main problem: Too few people have been in contact with chatbots so far . According to an analysis by management consultancy Lünendonk, the shortage of skilled workers is one of the main reasons why companies no longer use digital solutions such as chatbots. As a result, the underlying technology and experience does not fail.

According to Unymira’s latest study in 2020, the trend in customer service has not properly established itself. According to the study, only 1/3 of respondents use a chatbot. What’s exciting is that almost 70% are planning a bot project in the future and 26% of it even in a short window of time.

Two basic appearances

As already indicated, there are very different types of chatbots. Similar to communicating with people, we can chat with bots via messenger or simply chat with them in the form of virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri.

Tight range of tasks

At the moment, two general development tendencies can be identified. On the one hand, highly specialized chatbots are developed that are tailored to a narrow range of tasks or even a single task. For example, there is:

  • Weather Experts
  • Medical Diagnosis Assistant
  • Helper to order an Uber taxi
  • Transfer of current news according to personal preferences
  • Specialized marketing chatbot in the business environment

Wider range of features

On the other hand but are there technologies that try to cover a wide range of functions . Assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa and co. are available to users as ubiquitous — and above all omniscient — digital helpers: From weather forecasts, appointments and travel planning and shopping assistance to controlling a smart home, chatbots should be able to meet all users’ needs.

Even though the maturity level of these assistants still leaves much to be desired at the moment, the positive trend is clearly visible. The large technology groups Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Samsung in particular have long recognized the development of assistants with this basically unrestricted scope of application as a strategically important business area .

Areas of application of chatbots

The areas of application of chatbots are varied. However, they are suitable better for some applications than others. Bots better hand over to colleagues in the service center, especially very conversation-intensive and emotional topics. According to the current unymira study, chatbots are most common in the following areas:

  • Standard Information
  • Surveys
  • Support
  • Prequalification
  • Order Processing
  • Consulting
  • Complaint

for use.

© unymira Chatbots vs. artificial intelligence

Due to these different manifestations, there are always conceptual ambiguities. The terms are often mentioned in one breath and in fact there are numerous links between the two technological developments. Yet they are not synonyms. Chatbots are the end product or application, while artificial intelligence is an underlying technique that is in the background is working.

The chatbot “Karl Klammer”, an animated paper clip that allowed access to the help pages in the Microsoft office until 2004, was completely without artificial intelligence. Depending on which keyword appeared in a question, he was looking for appropriate answers from the linked help file.

Even today, not all bots are necessarily based on artificial intelligence. The Slack bot known to every Slack user was working without AI until recently. Simple applications, questions or tasks can be covered by linking commands, commands and keywords to the associated databases. In the future, however, developers will hardly be able to renounce the benefits of artificial intelligence in speech recognition and processing. If you want to know more about the trend and the risks and opportunities of this technology, read more in an interview with Marius Försch.

Golf, golf or golf? About understanding difficulties and the ambivalences of human language

One of the biggest challenges is the ambiguity of human language e. Sometimes we use ambivalence deliberately, for example when flirting. However, semantics are often unintentionally ambiguous. For example, the word “golf” has several, very different meanings. It can be a sport, a car, or a geographic formation (like the Gulf of Mexico). We can deduce what exactly is meant from context relatively easily. For chatbots without artificial intelligence, however, it is difficult to understand such contextual relationships .

However, natural language also has many other ambivalences and sources of misunderstandings. Colloquial language, dialects or irony can make it difficult to understand. Even simple spelling mistakes can make it difficult to understand what is meant.

Whether natural language is in spoken or written form, artificial intelligence can help to clear up understanding difficulties like this. Deep learning, a technology in the field of artificial intelligence, is making chatbots increasingly intelligent .

It’s important to know that the longer they are in use, the smarter chatbots get. They are constantly learning from user feedback and improve their skills as they continue to use. Statements that may not be understood the first or second time will soon be no longer a problem due to users’ feedback.

Bots and the end of the app era

Because of skills like this, there’s always talk of the end of the app era today. chatbots and Artificial intelligence is the next “natural” step in multi-stage development. At first, every company had to have a homepage where customers and interested parties could get an overview of products or contact the service.

In the second stage of development, it was part of the good note that manufacturers and vendors offered one or more apps. The ambitious goal of companies like Apple, Google & Co: Chatbots should replace the apps in the future. Instead of clicking on home pages through menus and subpages and filling out forms, you simply tell the chatbot what you want to know or want to order. Convenience and simplicity are the main reasons why chatbots are predicted a great future.

Chatbots: opportunity for companies and customers

The question of whether chatbots actually become a success or just remain a short-term hype no longer arises. Chatbots have great potential and are increasingly being implemented in companies. They are becoming increasingly important, especially in customer service.

However, developers must be able to successfully integrate chatbots into their existing infrastructure. But customers don’t just expect chatbots to work. In order for them to be accepted, it is necessary that they be practical, smart and user-friendly. At best, they also have a little humor.

it all succeeds, chatbots bring a whole range of benefits. Chatbots don’t sleep If . Customers can reach a chatbot around the clock. Many simple questions can be answered during this time. In addition, chatbots do not know capacity limits. Even if 100 people enquire at the same time, every customer will served without waiting time. Annoying waiting for bad music is a thing of the past. If things get more difficult than expected, the chatbot will automatically forward to an employee.

In the best case, a chatbot knows its counterpart, which enables personalization of the customer journey . When I order my pizza via chatbot for the 5th time, he starts to know my personal preferences. If I forget it, the chatbot might remind me that otherwise I always order with extra cheese.

Calling a hotline with a seemingly “stupid” or naive question where a caller may have to wait 10 minutes is also relatively high. A chatbot doesn’t judge the questioner, so pure understanding questions are likely to be asked much more frequently. The result: customer satisfaction and trust rise.

In a recent study by unymira on the topic “Chatsbots — The Road to Transformation”, 180 experts and managers in the DACH region were surveyed. We have summarized the three key findings for you.

The most important advantage of chatbots and artificial intelligence results from their own design. Chatbots are easy to use. They understand and master human language and thus give the user the feeling of a natural conversation© unymira — without interaction interfaces such as forms or homepages. For this reason alone, chatbots and artificial intelligence represent a great opportunity — and do so for companies and customers alike.