AI chatbots have been thrust into the realm of relevancy with the advent of Open AI's ChatGPT, Google's LaMDA, and multiple other companies trying to keep up with the AI revolution.
This begs the question, what exactly is an AI chatbot? And, what are the distinct advantages and disadvantages that chatbot technology brings to various sectors present within society?
What Is An AI Chatbot?
In layman's terms, an AI chatbot is an artificially intelligent program specifically designed to interpret human language, process it, and then output results based on its understanding. Depending on what kind of chatbot it is, these answers can be quite varied.
For instance, an AI chatbot platform specifically meant for customer inquiries might not be great at summarizing a letter, but it'll be excellent at customer interactions. Similarly, while OpenAI's ChatGPT might not be able to lodge a complaint, it is excellent at answering more general questions.
For instance, while a regular chatbot is constrained to a particular ruleset and cannot go beyond it, an AI bot can contextually understand a question, even if it has never seen it before, and provide a relatively accurate response.
As an example, healthcare providers can use AI chatbots to quickly filter out and respond to medical queries based on their urgency. In situations like these, developing a rule based chatbot that can identify injuries based on whether they are critical is nigh impossible.
On the other hand, an artificially intelligent chatbot can easily bifurcate between the urgency of a particular medical question based on the sentiments and urgency the user is expressing alongside cross-matching the particular situation with its index of databases and therefore is able to output a relevant response.
How Do AI Chatbots Work?
AI Chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to interpret input and also generate contextually aware output. Here's how the machine learning algorithm of an AI chatbot works:
- The AI chatbot picks up contextual input
- The input is bifurcated into portions and the sentiment, tone, and intent are understood by using natural language understanding (NLU)
- Now, the input is matched up with its intent and relevant information is fetched from the database
- Once the information is filtered and fetched, it is presented back to the user as a form of output by using natural language generation (NLG)
This particular approach to a chatbot is static in nature. In essence, this model does not improve over time. Therefore, this kind of chatbot is primarily used for customer experience chatbots where the AI chatbot does not necessarily need to accommodate newer information over time.
On the other hand, chatbots such as ChatGPT are dynamic in nature. They improve over time and their models are retrained constantly to add more accurate answers, respond to more complex queries, and increase their prevalence of using natural human language.
This is achieved with the help of reinforced learning. Each interaction you perform with an AI chatbot stands as an opportunity for improvement for the machine learning algorithm. Depending on whether you are satisfied with the answer, the computer program understands how it could have done better or worse thereby improving human conversation.
Besides just reinforced learning, these chatbots have access to the Internet. This also allows them to fetch and process new data from the world wide web and train themselves with it as well.
What Is The Difference Between Chatbot and AI Chatbot?
By definition, an AI chatbot operates on the premise of natural language processing and machine learning whereas a regular chatbot is bound by scripts and pre-programmed commands that help it make a particular decision.
In the grander scheme of things, an AI chatbot is far more dynamic, can analyze a lot more data, and can also resolve more complex queries. But, until AI chatbots are perfected, regular chatbots are still widely used and even have some benefits such as them not needing as much processing power compared to an AI chatbots.
Do All Chatbots Use AI?
No, not all chatbots use AI. Depending on their use case, a brand might opt to go for a simple rule based chatbot instead of AI chatbots. Primarily, this is because AI chatbots tend to be more expensive to maintain and operate compared to regular chatbots. Plus, not every brand needs an AI agent to answer queries as they simply fall into a few rule sets which do not require dynamic interaction. For instance, a food delivery service will only have a set number of customer queries that it needs to respond to which may not require the dynamic responses that AI chatbots provide.
What Are the Benefits of an AI Chatbot?
AI Chatbots can be used for a variety of user interactions. And, their beauty is in their versatility. So, they're extremely beneficial for almost all use cases and can act as a wonderful aid for human agents. Here's a look at some of their advantages:
- Contextual Understanding: An AI chatbot can understand the urgency and emotion of a certain query and relay it to human agents in a contextually relevant manner improving overall customer experience.
- Reduced Overhead: From a company's perspective, the inclusion of artificial intelligence in their workflow can help reduce customer service costs as irrelevant queries can be filtered out and automated responses can be used to answer questions instead of needing human intervention everywhere.
- Speed and Responsiveness: The sheer speed at which artificial intelligence chatbots can answer questions and interpret customer data goes a long way in improving customer engagement thanks to conversational AI.
- Better Customer Interactions: The usage of AI chatbots also results in better customer interactions as agents will already be aware of the gravity of a certain situation as it will already be filtered through AI. So, situations that require human intervention can be dealt with accordingly with the help of machine learning.
- Adaptability and Training: Once an AI chatbot understands your workflow, it can easily adapt to other sectors that it may not have been originally intended for. So, whether it is lead generation, human resources, scheduling appointments, or manning phone lines, artificial intelligence chatbots will be able to easily assimilate to any situation.
- Constant Availability: AI chatbots have zero downtime and are available 24/7. So, whether your customer is using mobile apps to reach your brand or with a website, a small business can easily integrate AI chatbots and can have their queries answered via conversational AI at any time.
All in all, chatbots have turned into a pivotal tool for enterprises. They make it much easier to answer hordes of outstanding customer inquiries and eliminate tedious, manual labor for human agents. However, it is important to understand that natural language processing is not an alternative to actual human interaction.
While customer experiences have certainly been improved with the addendum of AI chatbots, they still are a far cry from an actual human's ability to perceive nuance and provide an accurate response.
So, while some customer questions might be answered by AI technology, the true key to having a large sum of satisfied customers is to create a hybrid mix between virtual agents and AI driven chatbots to ensure that your customer journey is smooth for everyone.
However, you, as a manager will have to make the decision in deciding what sort of framework works best for you based on user input and the current state of AI bots. If your user's intent isn't really grasped by AI, your customer support experience will largely be defined by virtual human agents.
However, if you've seen great success with rule based chatbots or have less tedious queries, you'll be able to offload more of your customer questions from virtual assistants to an AI bot instead.
Are AI Chatbots Important?
AI Chatbots are extremely important in improving customer support and are generally used in messaging apps by various brands to improve their efficacy of answering questions quickly and accurately.
While these software programs can vary in complexity and design, they all have one primary purpose, to improve customer experience as much as possible. Because of this, while businesses may not completely switch to virtual artificial intelligence any time soon, having your own chatbot in an enterprise setting can prove to be extremely beneficial for all industrial sectors.