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Chatbot's - What & it the way forward?

Chat-bot also called as talkbot or bot or interactive agent, which is a program which helps in carrying out conversation via audio or text. Chabot's are typically used in various purposes including customer care service or information gathering. For example, a user could ask the bot a question or give it an instruction and the bot could respond or perform an action as appropriate (E.g., ask about weather, dial a number, etc...).

You all will be thinking why I am speaking about Chat-bot now...there you go!!! As you all will be knowing that, world is moving towards AI and Machine Learning. When AI and Chabot's combine you might be thinking what will it do?

Over a period of time they become very intelligent, as they collect information and then this is stored in their neural network, which is reused again. Chatbot is also trying to make use of Machine Learning, specifically Natural Language Processing (NLP) which is a rapidly improving field of ML. NLP is making conversational chat-bots that are more intuitive as well as really cool and beneficial for customers ...and that is what make us say "Chatbot will give high usage of Enterprise and will make life easier for humans" J

Following are some of the stat's that we see on usage of Chabot's

  • Increased 200% more in the big sized companies in last few years

  • B2B (Business to Business) are taking more interest in this model

  • Last but not the least they are reducing labor costs and helps enterprise "significantly"

Complete automation might not be possible in this space but by bring this innovation of Chatbot via AI will definitely give customers savings by time, "$" and reduction in labor cost.

At high level we can classify into two varieties:

  • Predefined Chabot's: Where you have to follow a predefined path and gets you the result

  • AI Chabot's: Freeway chat and based on best fit or real time data decisions can be made by the users

Sample bots that are available, some of them are highlighted below:

  • Weather bot: This gives you instant information about weather

  • News bot: Information of news anytime, anywhere

  • Financial bot: How do you manage your money matters

  • Scheduling bot: Helps in scheduling our day today activities, meetings etc...

Personal devices such as Amazon Echo or Google Home are already available at a very affordable cost and most importantly has made conversing with a bot as normal as possible. It's only natural that we worry that eventually we will be replaced by a more efficient machine/computer/robot. Doesn't it ring a bell for all of us!!! L But worry not, we as humans have always found a way to keep ourselves employed and busy. Below is a quote from a brilliant movie 'Before Sunrise (1995)', that summarizes this emotion,

"You know what drives me crazy? It's all these people talking about how great technology is, and how it saves all this time. But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work. You never hear somebody say, "With the time I've saved by using my word processor, I'm gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out". I mean, you never hear that."

Oh yes, Chabot's are the way forward and this will keep you ahead in this competitive world. This not only increases the productivity, but also connects with client's/buyers/user's in a more meaningful way, and it is more important that we are not left behind in this world of IT!!!

More to come on Chatbot....

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