Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to adjust to new inputs, learn from experience, and perform tasks like a human being. With the surge of people using AI, it is gratifying to see a technology that seemed impossible, become a new reality. However, due to the popularity of the technology, we are seeing a lot of vendors, firms, and companies trying to jump on the AI bandwagon. They are creating and using intelligent hardware and software like — AI chatbots — to make their products and services smart.
What does this mean for your chatbot?
The tremendous impact of artificial intelligence is most noticeable in the customer service industry with the use of AI chatbots. According to research, 40% of consumers state that it makes no difference whether human-beings or computers help them if they are getting the help they need, which is why chatbots in customer service are expanding. The prognosis looks quite promising: 85% of all interactions will be carried out without human participation by the end of 2020. So let’s dwell on the subject and learn what makes things intelligent, how AI-based chatbots act like, and why the technology is considered to be the future of customer service.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can merge this new technology with your business, then check out Using AI Services to Build Customer Solutions. This learning path will give you in-depth tutorials on adding artificial intelligence to your customer-facing applications.
What do we actually mean by artificial intelligence?
Ask ordinary users about AI, and they are likely to think about “something smart.” The things that come to their mind are self-driven cars, Siri, robots, face recognition systems, Amazon Alexa, and Google Nest thermostats. In practice, these examples, one way or another, are the result of combinations of several technologies: Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Machine Perception, and Natural Language Processing (NLP), all of which make up the concept of artificial intelligence.
The whole concept of artificial intelligence is based on mimicking human cognitive abilities. For example, in order to be considered “intelligent,” the software must be able to perceive and understand its environment, learn from training and its previous experience, make decisions based on understanding, and use “common sense” in vague situations.
AI is becoming more and more similar to human intelligence. For a long time, the inability to recognize human emotions and react — taking into account the emotional coloring of the message — has remained one of the major challenges of the technology. However, in this field, we already see significant progress. For instance, Cogito, an AI-based software, is designed to help customer service workers improve their overall performance by providing opportunities for empathic understanding and clear communication in customer service conversations.
Cogito listens to the tone of voice, word frequency, pitch, analyzes these and other factors, and displays notifications on the agent’s computer. It then recommends them to stop or start talking, try to sound more sympathetic, slow down, or speed up to deliver a better customer experience.
As far as customer experience, it should be a paramount focus for any business. By keeping existing customers satisfied allows companies to gain much better revenue than having to constantly find new clients. Due to the continual advancements of artificial intelligence, businesses get access to various resources and tools to transform and improve their interactions.
AI-powered chatbots in active service with smart customer interactions
The first chatbot, ELIZA, was created in 1966 and blazed a trail for the future development of the smart virtual consultants. According to Salesforce research, chatbots are expected to be used by 53% of service organizations within 18 months. Indeed, the use of bots as virtual agents capable of managing lots of tasks has revolutionized the relationships between companies and their clients.
Why do we love AI chatbots? They are fast, responsive, helpful, and are always there when you need them. From the companies’ point of view, they can save time, money, and provide better customer experience.
AI chatbots are the next stage of technology evolution. Using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technologies, they can simulate a conversation in a natural, human way via messaging applications. There are a lot of platforms aimed at helping businesses to create their own AI chatbots that can understand people’s intent without the need for keyword matching and constantly learn how to give an accurate and relevant answer.
Moreover, some big businesses opt for individual solutions instead of using out-of-the-box ones. For instance, Salesforce CRM created their own AI-powered Einstein Bot that can be tied to a wide range of Salesforce objects and processes including customer profiles, workflows, and historical data. However, in order to integrate Einstein bot with Salesforce CRM, deploy the technology to your site, train the chatbot, and put it onto the big stage, solid coding skills are required. Therefore, it will be a great idea to hire Salesforce developers who are proficient in building AI solutions.
How companies can start implementing AI chatbots
The development of a rule-based chatbot should always be started with the designation of the problems you want them to solve and making a business case for your bot. For instance, they may be expected to help your customer service reps to relieve their workload.
The next step is to decide what kind of business objectives chatbots will help you achieve — such as reducing the waiting time, increasing the number of satisfied clients, etc. It is also a good practice to determine who is supposed to be your bot’s target audience: customers or employees.
Data is a critical factor for AI implementation. Its quantity and quality significantly determine both the total cost and duration of your project. “What data is available?” is among the questions business owners should answer before starting the implementation.
Keep in mind that building new learning models for ambitious projects based on AI often requires a vast amount of money. However, due to investments in AI innovations and development, there are lots of state-of-the-art models that can serve as a basis for the creation of an inexpensive smart solution.
Understanding the exact points of the customer journey and having an accurate prediction is canonical to programming AI chatbots. Business owners need to put themselves in the customers’ shoes and develop their virtual assistants around their way toward purchases.
Artificial intelligence and chatbots: What to expect?
Artificial intelligence has already forced chatbots to move from simple queries to advanced understanding and predictive analytics for delivering human-like communication. What can be predicted concerning AI and bots collaboration?
As Natural Language Processing in AI proliferates, we can expect bots to improve significantly over 2020 and subsequent years. Major companies build deep neural networks to make chatbots more like humans through speech recognition machines and voice chatbots. Although the technology is still far from being perfect and has numerous challenges (including overcoming background noise), varied pitches of people’s voices, accents, and dialects, its improvement is sure to be a dominating technology trend in customer service and beyond.
Once the technology becomes more common, AI bots will start proliferating online and becoming an integral part of our lives. To give you a hint of how ambitious they are, some experts claim that conversational AI bots are likely to replace search bars in our internet browsers.
It also can be predicted that AI-powered conversational bots will be recruited into call centers where the employees’ task is to provide customer support and deal with clients’ requests. As far as companies need to hire fewer people to attend calls, chatbots can help businesses to reduce up to 30% of costs.
AI chatbots promise to increase the efficiency of business processes that leverages them. We also may expect AI-powered bots to be an effective tool for carrying out payment processes. Payment bots are hardly unique: Facebook Messenger users can execute orders and pay for them through payment systems like PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and more. However, the main challenge of payment bots is to build people’s trust, as long as many of them still consider the tech insecure.
Nowadays, chatbots have become a powerful tool for company-to-customer interaction, while reducing costs and resources. The combination of AI and chatbots paves the way for more sophisticated technological advances in the future.
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