Blog: Artificial Intelligence Powered Chatbots By Melike Beykoz Istanbul

Artificial Intelligence Powered Chatbots By Melike Beykoz Istanbul

Chatbots are computer programs that can chat with humans through text or voice messages. The most common areas where chatbots are used are sales, marketing and customer support services. In the early days, chatbots without artificial intelligence (Machine learning) were much slower and more limited since they were using word/text search methods. With the use of NLP (Natural Language Processing) and machine learning, they became faster, more realistic, self-learning, self-improving systems and have made significant progress in improving the customer experience.
 Human-machine speech can be observed in two main stages:
 * Natural Language Understanding — to understand what people say.
 * Natural Language Generation — to produce a meaningful response to human speech.
 The process of making chatbots which are built on understanding and producing texts, have many difficulties. Being able to give a meaningful answer requires not only the words in the comprehension section to be searched in big data, but also to produce convincing, meaningful and relevant conversation.
 AI-Powered Chatbots in Customer Service
 AI-Powered Chatbots play a significant role in Customer Service these days. When we look at the benefits of chatbots, we can easily say that the most important reason for the customer satisfaction is shorter waiting time. As an example, the average waiting-time for the user in customer services in US is around 10–20 minutes per week. Nobody likes waiting to get an answer or get automated answers from machines where most of the time the answer doesn’t satisfy the customer. Some of the Call Centers are outsourced to other countries for economical purposes which can cause cultural or linguistic problems.
 AI-Powered chatbots bring a clear solution to such problems by offering consistent and 7/24 continuous service.Waiting-time could be reduced to nearly zero and based on Forrester’spredicts, adopting and using AI effectively can increase a firm’s revenues by 5–10%.
 Usage of AI-Powered Chatbots
 The use of Artificial Intelligence powered ChatBots started in 2016. One unfortunate example is Microsoft’s chatbot “Tay”, which went live on twitter in March of 2016. Tay, which was supposed to learn and develop itself from Twitter chats became racist, abusive and sex-oriented character after learning from the tweets shared by the crowd and naturally was stopped after 96,000 tweets and 16 hours of work.
 Chatbots are sometimes called “virtual assistants”. In fact, virtual assistants can fulfill missions other than speech. Most known virtual assistants:
 * Apple — Siri
 * Google — Google Assistant
 * Amazon — Alexa
 * Microsoft — Cortana
 According to the 2018 Chatbot status report, the most common uses of chatbots are (1):
 * 64% — 24-hour service
 * 55% — Instant response
 * 55% — answer simple questions
 * 51% — Easy communication
 * 43% — easy complaint solution
 Based on the results of this report, the current status of chatbotusage can be summarized as follows:
 * The most important expectation of people from chatbots is to get quick response to their questions and solve their problems when they need it.
 * Another important expectation is when they cannot answer the question/problem or find a solution, promptly ask/escalate to a human.
 * Chatbots can be used by everyone regardless of the age of the user
 * They think that they are not ready to talk to a machine yetsince they don’t think it is completely trustworthy but they still find it useful.
 By 2020, It is expected that 85% of the customer interaction will be done without a human being. (2) So it would not be wrong to say that one of the most common areas of artificial intelligence will be chatbots.
 Chatbots are used in many areas besides customer support, sales or marketing. According to a research made in 2017, someinteresting examples of chatbots are as follows (3):
 * Free legal assistant: DONOTPAY is an application that can ask questions and provide legal advice free of charge in America and Canada.
 * Dating / Matchmaking: LARA helps the user to create a profile to find the best partner, builds a profile with questions and answers.
 * Meditation assistant: MEDITATEBOT helps you plan your daily meditation exercise.
 * Image recognition: WTFISTHAT tells you what the sent image is, for example, if an artist’s picture is sent, it tells who it is, or what it is if a plant picture is sent.
 * Language learning: DUOLINGO allows you to practice chat with a computer while learning a new foreign language.
 * Flight follow-up: INSTALOCATE keeps track of the desired flight, delays, cancellations, and the location of the aircraft.
 * Puzzle games: Puzzles can be played in the form of questions and answers with ERWIN.
 * Picture Fun: PROJECTMURPHY is an entertainment chatbot that responds with pictures to questions that start with “What if?”. He answers the question with a picture he produces.
 Thousands of Chatbots are developed and used in many areas like education, entertainment, customer support, finance, healthcare, human resources, shopping, sports. Only the number of chatbots developed on Facebook Messenger has exceeded 100,000 in April 2017. (4) These applications, which are powered by artificial intelligence make life easier, joyful and more comfortable.
 Chatting with computers will become more natural every day thanks to self-learning and self-improving systems using artificial intelligence/machine learning. Routine conversations will save time for people who have to repeat themselves in monotonous and tedious jobs and allow them to work in more creative, productive and enjoyable areas.

(1) The 2018 State of Chatbots Report: How Chatbots Are Reshaping Online Experiences
 (2) Chatbot Revolution: Why Businesses Should Consider
 (3) Top Messenger Bots of 2017: 8 chatbots setting the bar
 (4) Facebook Messenger hits 100,000 bots

Facebook Messenger hits 100,000 bots

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Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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