We talk about chabots and artificial intelligence in pretty much every blog post we write. In this post, I want to take a step back and discuss what an AI powered chatbot is and take a look at some pros and cons of its implementation.
What is an AI powered chatbot?
A chatbot, or chat bot, is a machine that has a conversation with humans via text or audio. An AI powered chatbot is a smarter version which uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to better understand the intent of the human and provide a more natural, near human-level communication.
An AI powered chatbot is basically an attempt to recreate a human.
A human that has many additional, beneficial, assets such as being:
Imagine employing a human who you can train to complete tasks precisely as you need them to be done. This human learns and improves over time and responds to feedback without complaint or question. Every interaction it has with other humans makes it smarter, more efficient and better at completing the task.
This human never sleeps. It never needs to go to the bathroom. It doesn't eat or miss an incoming message. It works 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every time zone, every language, talking to everyone, and anyone who speaks to it, simultaneously.
This machine-human might start by talking to your website visitors about your products, helping them select the correct one and take them through the buyer journey. After a while, you might trust it to talk to current customers, assisting them with their problems and questions. Soon you'll begin using it internally, as the interface between clients and staff. Ultimately, it will be used by staff as an interface between employees (how often are HR asked about leave requests, or what those latest changes in the employee handbook were). On top of its core functionality, this human is scalable regarding numbers of conversations and users. It can talk to just one person as easily as it can to 10,000.
This AI powered chatbot never gets grumpy, never comes to work hungover and always presents itself in line with your brand guidelines and voice. The chatbot will talk exactly how your brand should talk. It will use the same level of humour, tone, personality and language every single time. It will be the voice of your brand, across all the digital channels you let it talk through. Equally, it is instantly adjustable and does not need for time-consuming brand, culture and ethos training. If down the line you need to adjust your brand voice, it is as simple as re-typing the words it uses.
All this sounds great, but there must be some downsides to implementing an AI powered chatbot?
Yes, of course, there are always downsides.
Much like recruiting a real human, there is both an upfront and ongoing cost for an AI solution. Good chatbots must be bespoke to your brand and business. They should be designed to solve your problem. A chatbot is an extension of your brand; a one-size-fits-all solution just won't cut it. Additionally, a chatbot needs to be hosted somewhere, and the more conversations you throw at it, the bigger the server infrastructure needs to be.
Despite being the future, we scared humans always worry about change. Is recreating humanity and possibly affecting employment and global economics the correct thing to do? Do our moral values allow us to recreate intelligence at a near-human level? Is it up to us to decide to compliment human with a machine? While operating at near optimal levels of efficiency may look good on paper and help show your company as innovative, not every consumer will share the same opinion.
Your AI powered chatbot will do exactly what you tell it to do. And I mean, exactly. It will never sway, adapt on the fly (unless you teach it how), or fly by the seat of its pants to seal a deal. A chatbot is ideal for taking care of the mundane, for being efficient. Tasks that require repetition and objectivity are a chatbot's domain. When you need creativity, inspired thinking or more human traits, you need a person.
I believe every business across our planet can benefit from an AI powered chatbot solution.Talk to us today and see what problems of yours we can solve.