Is the chatbot revolution a myth?

In 2018, chatbots are slated to be the next great platform connecting people to businesses. A survey conducted by Oracle recently shone some light on interesting facts: about 80 percent of businesses expect to use chatbots for customer interactions by 2020. The recent past has seen many multi-billion dollar companies such as Apple, Amazon, Uber, and Facebook investing in specific research of AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to generate a better experience for their customers that have the latent power of transforming the way society and businesses work. Apart from innovative endeavors in various fields, artificial intelligence is a core tool for accomplishing success in the developing arena of chatbots- programs that interact with humans as conversational agents to conduct certain activities.

Entrepreneurs these days cannot afford to ignore the widespread advantages that a chatbot offers. The first place where chatbots were utilized were in customer- support interactions to create services that would be both cost-effective and utilize time efficiently.

Apart from doing away with a large team to run, chatbots are also revolutionizing the way employees function within organizations in various sectors like retail, medicine, and hospitality. By allowing chatbots to automate time-consuming administrative errands such as scheduling meetings and keeping a track of attendance, dealing with suppliers and new recruits by answering basic queries or supporting HR needs internally for existing employees. Chatbots are also extremely useful in helping employees working remotely to stay connected with their teams, thus transforming traditional workplace setups and collaboration networks.

An upsurge in chatbots in the recent past has seen developers involved with incorporating functionality that has a certain friendliness to it, as can be seen in the media and entertainment industries. For example, the entertaining Insomno bot, is designed to keep people company who have trouble sleeping and Ponchocreates awareness about the weather. Apart from this, the chatbot from Musewearables looks to manage multiple functions that range from finance to fitness advice to managing nutrition goals.

Further forays into the rise of chatbots will throw up interesting examples of prototypes that did not work initially. A careful study of the failure patterns of these interactive platforms can help future developers and entrepreneurs understand what can work for their individual business or product. One of the primary reasons for disappointment includes an undefined or clear purpose that gets drowned in the sea of existing chatbots. Another is setting a goal that is far too ambitious for existing technology. This was seen with the scaling back of Facebook’s Messenger bot that had boasted of doing away with human interaction but could only respond to 30 percent customer requests! Finally, the importance of context that is imperative for human communication for basic comprehension of needs is missing during an interaction with a chatbot.

However, the latest news on the future development of chatbots is undoubtedly bright; developers can now celebrate that chatbots, even with their limitations, are here to stay and are only looking for newer levels of sophistication to succeed. Experts believe that the nature of chatbots will further undergo metamorphosis to become the leading means of communication in the future of AI.

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