What are ChatBots?
ChatBots are smart computer programs that mimic the real life conversation people have, except by utilizing artificial intelligence on one end. From quasi-conversation to self-initiated tasks, these ChatBots can revolutionize the way you behave and connect on the internet. ChatBots can serve many functions, and with them, interacting and getting information from the internet can become easy and convenient. The ChatBots reply according to the number of responses fed into the system by the programmer and chooses the best option according to the scenario. The job of ChatBots seems rather straightforward; they are there to provide information to customers and users. Without this technology, you would have to go to a website and maneuver around till you found the thing you were looking for, order it and check out. With a chat bot, you can save yourself a lot of time by letting the artificial intelligence know exactly what you are after, and within minutes, you could find it. The chatting is similar to the one you would expect to have with a sales person. Facebook Messenger is one of the biggest companies investing in 30, 000 or more bots, believing these are vital to the business. This means that Facebook will be cutting their human employees which were required for the task these bots would have to undertake.
Why are they important to us now?
More recently ChatBots have become a necessary technology, with Facebook and Microsoft, among other great companies dedicating resources to this technology. While ChatBots seem like a novel technology, they are actually older than we think. There have been machines created to imitate human behavior for ages; however, the notion of integrating ChatBots within apps is a novel concept. New age bots, however are not looking to imitate humans completely, instead, they are what they are, and machines intended to interact with humans. These machines can only respond to limited commands, and if it does not have an answer for your question, it won’t be of use, no amount of brainstorming will give the bot a eureka moment. However, bots are adaptable, which means they constantly learn and get better with time. As they register interactions and responses, their range constantly increases.
As more people are now moving from public social media sites to private networks like Facebook messenger, slack, weChat and Telegram for communication, the role of Chabot’s is increasing. For a business to reach more customers, interaction and communication are important, and if more people are now using messenger apps, then ChatBots make sense. According to a new survey, nearly 89% of customers, are looking forward to engaging with AI virtual assistants, hence the companies investing in these are making a smart move by the looks of it.
Technology around ChatBots:
As with the use in businesses, the technology around Chat Bots is also evolving at a rapid pace. There are many online resources that let you built your own ChatBots. Facebook has recently launched its “bots for messenger” tool that allows developers to build the best bots they can, which can be bought be Facebook for a hefty price. The underlying technology of the tool uses artificial intelligence markup language and incorporates a tool that provides API hosting platforms.
There are many APIs that may be used for creating the perfect Chat Bots, including cloud-based NLP APIs such as API.ai and WIT.ai. API.ai is a bot development program, that makes it convenient to integrate with certain social media outlets such as FB messenger, Skype, and Microsoft. Wit.ai is very similar, however, in comparison to api.ai, it is slightly more complicated to use. Moreover, api.ai has better user ability, is easier to use and the NLP engine is more mature.
Another important language for writing script for ChatBots is AIML( Artificial intelligence Markup Language). This is an XML-compliant language, and it is relatively easier to learn for a newbie. It also makes it possible to customize an Alicebot or make a bot from scratch.
Future of ChatBots
Advancement in Artificial intelligence in addition to the increase in messaging apps would increase the development of ChatBots for sure. As more businesses are investing in ChatBots now, there is a bot revolution that can be expected in the future. As ChatBots make their way into every department of the industry, it is easy to see how our lives will change. Currently, both Google and Facebook are working on making a master bot that will manage other bots, more like an organization. In the future, virtual assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Siri, will also have bot services and master bots that will allow every intelligent system to integrate seamlessly. Before this can implemented, however, plumbing needs to be built and writing script platforms need to improve. This can be seen happening and the futures of APIs seem bright. Artificial intelligence and ChatBots have a vital role to play in the future for businesses, this means that with more people interested in the technology, there will be more programmers who will be investing in building platforms for easy script writing. How the future plays out for ChatBots, only time will tell, however, by the looks of it, many large corporations are already on board. The three biggest tech giants, Facebook, Amazon, and Google, have been investing in ChatBots and the results will be tremendous. As more companies come around to the idea and understand how customer preferences are changing, the times for ChatBots seem to be looking up.
Interested in API strategy, architecture, and design. Working to improve the quality and usability of information on the Web. CTO @OrfiumMusic