Chatbot definition according to Wikipedia:
‘A chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, chatterbox, Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test’.
Chatbot definition according to me
‘A very helpful robot (not actually true!) on the websites I go to which helps me out and avoids me having to call phone lines that not only cost me a fortune but cost me a lot of precious time!’.
Who hasn’t been on a call to a customer helpline and listened to the annoying hold music for at least 5 minutes?
Customer service should be paramount to any reputable company who wants to continue trading. But too often when problems arise, trying to get in contact with those that should be able to help the consumers is time-consuming. We’ve seen complaints going viral thanks to people using social media to highlight a company or a product's flaws but, (now take a breather head of customer services) chatbots are here to save the day. Or as much as humanly possible (excuse the pun).
Now chatbots aren’t new technology but they are making a big difference but here are some recent examples of the uses for chatbots:
Free Robot Lawyer
The DoNotPay chat bot, created by Joshua Browder was created to provide legal advice for refugees and people who are homeless. The bot works through Facebook Messenger by asking them a series of questions before offering legal advice. The bot also fills out forms and sends them on behalf of its ‘clients’. Now Browder has also thought about protecting the individuals’ information by setting up end to end encryption between his server and Facebook as he knew that Messenger alone wasn’t going to be able to protect individuals’ personal information. Browder is looking to expand his services onto WhatsApp in the hope to help even more people in need.
KLM’s Pocket Travel Guide
KLM are introducing your own pocket travel guide, via emoji’s. KLM have refined their messenger chatbot so that now customers can (using the location services) can send an emoji of a burger or a taxi and instantly get pointed in the right direction for those services. "We believe we should be where our customers are and therefore KLM and Messenger are the perfect fit," said Tjalling Msith, the senior VP of e-commerce Air France KLM.
Sex and Drug Education via a Chat Bot
Who remembers those awkward chats or lessons with the facts but not the real answers to the questions we were all thinking? I can’t think of anyone who would be brave enough to ask those questions, but with the chatbots you eliminate that embarrassment. Kids of today could get all the information they need on these, frankly life defining subjects without judgment or worry.
Hooray for the chatbots I say! They are making life easier for countless people in different ways. But what’s next to become part of our everyday lives? Virtual assistances.
Do we all need virtual assistances now?
No. They can just make life a little easier, or more complicated if you are a technophobe who’s been sold into the idea that speaking out loud to ‘Alexa’ will solve all your problems. Alexa does have some cool uses apart from adding things to your shopping list and finding out the weather (slightly dull no offence Alexa) so here’s a couple of the newest features.
If you need a hand with cocktail making, you can have your own personal cocktail maker on hand with Alexa. Not sure how often we’d be calling for ‘Patrons’ help but hey, your hosting/mixing skills will get you brownie points!
Now this is more useful and far more value skill. Alexa and The American Heart Association have worked together to give advice and practical information to people about heart diseases. They make it very clear it’s not designed for an emergency situation but its vital information that could help save someone’s life. Good one Alexa!
Sexy chat bots?
Yep, you read that H2 right there! We left the best until last. Now you may have seen this headline already but you can now save a very civilised conversation with Christian Grey (50 Shades man) via Facebook Messenger, thanks to chatbots. Not sure if we can directly call this customer service but the chatbots are doing good!
Can these technologies really replace human interaction though? If it saves me time I’d rather get a direct answer from a robot than wait to be spun some nice sounding words by a customer service adviser who’s actually probably just reading from a script, much like the bot is.