The next wave of chatbots will be smarter


Chatbots no longer can be considered a future technology. Across a number of industries — including financial services, retail, and travel — chatbots are being deployed today to interact with customers and clients.

But today’s chatbots are relatively, how shall I say this, unevolved. (Sorry, chatbots reading this!) Sure, they can save enterprises money by automating simple customer service functions such as answering questions and conducting transactions. However, more complex tasks involving extended engagements with users have been challenging.

A panel of chatbot experts at the recent Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco assessed the current state of chatbot use in the enterprise and what more needs to be done for the technology to have a deeper impact on the business, as TechRepublic reports.

Ram Menon, founder and CEO of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform vendor Avaamo, told conference attendees that chatbot technology is exiting its nascent stage and should evolve rapidly.

“The first wave of chatbots were basically a glorified search engine,” Menon said. “What we should expect over the next three to five years is for a conversational UI to be able to perform judgement-intensive tasks. The future is about having a real dialogue, and the chatbot remembering what you said last time and responding. That’s where the AI comes in.”

A smarter chatbot that can “remember” previous conversations and make judgments on behalf of a customer, employee, or the business itself is a much more powerful tool than one that can tell users the weather outside, their checking account balance, and not much else.

Chatbots that can handle complex conversations and interactions with users can benefit an enterprise in a number of ways, from increasing short- and long-term revenue, to raising customer satisfaction and building brand value. To get there, however, chatbots may need some help — from other chatbots.

“It’s inconceivable to imagine one chatbot that handles all possible use cases,” Beerud Sheth, founder and CEO of bot building platform GupShup, told attendees. “There’s going to be a need where instead of individual intelligence, you have collective intelligence.”

To review, chatbots with the ability to perform judgment-based tasks soon may be able to pool their collective intelligence. If that doesn’t suggest a sci-fi horror movie plot, I don’t know what does. But at least until we’re all subjugated, these superior chatbots should really be able to help your business!


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