12 May Welcome 2017 with the Killer Bots: AI at its Peak
The tech world is all agog these days about chatbots. In rapid succession over the past few months, Microsoft, Facebook and Google each one of them have unveiled their chatbot strategies, touting the potential for this evolving technology to aid users with its customer-service.
In 2016, there were more than 30,000 developers who started their journey into whole new world of bots in the Android mobile app development. They tried, analysed, experimented, accomplished, failed, gathered knowledge about machine learning and left no stone unturned to figure out what more can be done with this new conversational technology.
Yes, it didn’t become the most popular thing last year, but that’s OK. It was a step towards moving ahead. With all the experience, the developers are now all set to use their ideas and statistical data to build chatbots that will go viral and become an integral part of life. And that is why 2017 will surely be a killer year for Bots. With more than 3 billion people using messaging apps, bots will soon empower messaging apps.
You must be inquisitive to know what actually a chatbot is. Let’s get into some details now.
What Is A Chatbot?
In layman terms, A chatbot is a “computer program designed to simulate conversation or chat with human users, especially over the internet.” It isn’t limited to a single category, it can be anything starting from fun to something functional and it can even be in any major chat product.
Still confused and scratching your heads to understand what actually a Chatbot is? Relax, here’s an example to help you visualize a chatbot.
For instance, you wish to buy shoes from Nike, what will be the first thing you will do? Of course, you will visit their website, surf, until you find your pair of shoes and then finally you will purchase them. Isn’t it what you will do?
What if Nike had a chat bot, which surely they will have, all you will have to do is message Nike on Facebook. It would ask what you are looking for and will simply give you the relevant results. So, instead of browsing the whole website and giving it time, you can have a conversation with Nike Bot, giving you a mirroring type of experience you must have got, had you visited the retail store.
Helping you buy shoes isn’t the only thing bots can do, there’s much more to it. Here are some examples of Chat Bots
- Scheduling Bot: Helps you schedule a meeting with someone from Facebook’s Messenger Team.
- Weather bot: Lets you know the weather whenever you ask.
- News bot: Excited to know what’s the most interesting news hitting the charts? Ask the news bot.
So, do you see? Bots comes with endless possibilities. See? Just imagine, and you can build anything. But why should you make one? Sure, it sounds cool, uses some super advanced technologies, but why should someone invest their energy and time on it?
Believe me, It’s a huge opportunity. HUGE. Scroll down and I’ll explain.
Why are Chatbots Such A Big Opportunity
If I can get you right, you are definitely wondering “Why does anyone care about chatbots? They look like simple text based services… what’s the big deal?”
Great question. I’ll tell you why people care about chatbots.
It’s because for the first time ever people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks.
Let that sink in for a second.
According to studies, “People today spend more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is one of the huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.”
So, logically, if you want to build and make your business flourish, you will have to build it where the people are. And that place is now inside messenger apps.
Mr Aaron Batalion, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners quoted “The huge shifts from one platform to another can be a sign of great opportunity for distribution. This makes it simple that we shouldn’t judge the initial prototypes as the platforms are far from completion. The fundamental idea is that customers will interact with just enough UI, whether conversational and/or widgets, to be delighted by a service/brand with immediate access to a rich profile and without the complexities of installing a native app, all fueled by mature advertising products. It’s potentially a massive opportunity.”
This is why chatbots are such a big deal. It’s potentially a huge business opportunity for anyone willing to jump headfirst and build something people want.
Now the question comes, how do these bots work? How do they know what to talk and how to answer questions? Isn’t that artificial intelligence and isn’t that insanely difficult to accomplish?
Yes, you are right, it is Artificial Intelligence, but it also is something that you can totally do yourself.
Let me explain you little further.
How Chatbots Work
Behind the conversational User Interface (UI), chatbots are powered either by Artificial Intelligence (AI) or by a predefined set of rules.
Now, What does this mean?
Chatbot that functions on set of rules:
- This is a bot with limited solutions. It is designed for specific commands, Speak a wrong thing, and it won’t understand anything. In short, it is only as smart as it is programmed to be.
- Chatbot that functions using Artificial Intelligence:
- Now this is where AI comes in play. You don’t have to be very specific while talking to it. It doesn’t decode commands, it understands natural language. It is like a kid that gathers more and more experiences and learns from them when given that exposure, thanks to Machine Learning.
So, if these bots are using AI to make them work perfectly fine, isn’t it hard? You will wonder you will have to be an expert at it. Short and crisp. No, you don’t have to be one to make a chatbot that has AI. All you need to do is not to over promise on the abilities of app. If you are sure you can’t make the app good with AI right now, it might be best not to put it in yet.