Will Chatbots take over humanity? – A Marketer’s take on the question
I was just talking to a friend about how much fun it was to have random conversations with Siri around 8 good years ago. It was something unheard of in those times – talking to a phone! But right now years after such a complex evolutionary journey that chatbots have had, we just kind of greet the latest offering with a mild ‘Meh’. Realising why I was acting like a regular entitled millennial, I decided to take a broader look at all that Chatbots have accomplished over the years. Weird thoughts of the being overtaken by machines did creep in from time to time. Let us just say that automation, in general, has had a huge boom on the market.
From a humanitarian or philosophical standpoint, this raises a lot of questions.
Is it ethically sound to let machines take over jobs that humans have been doing for ages?
Wouldn’t we as a society lose the sense of connection with one another with all these microchips around?
This is why such matters have to be treated with a sense of responsibility. As marketers, many of us have a really bad habit of jumping on the bandwagon of all the latest trends only to abandon them a few weeks later. This is why you can see many websites with barely functioning horrendous chatbots that have no use other than to show – ‘Oh look, my brand has a chatbot too! We are keeping up with the times you see.’
Artificial intelligence should be used with caution and utmost diligence to get measurable results. To answer those ‘philosophical’ questions, let’s take on a case study. Ask any customer service executive and you will know what I am talking about. Most of the calls they get are on redundant matters that can be solved with a simple Google search. This bar is an alarming 80% of the calls. Only rest of the 20% calls are ones that require the advice of a trained professional. In such cases, the use of a chatbot to get basic information can be really useful. The customer service executive gets to keep his job – let’s say he gets a more efficient funnel of engaging conversations while the bot handles the messy simple redundant ones. See, an efficient and well-managed use of chatbots can benefit on all ends.
Think again if you ever thought that chatbots were just middle talk machines. Woebot is a chatbot that you have can fun conversations with. The natural language processing is quite intimidating frankly and sometimes Woebot surprises you with emojis and GIFs. Of course, don’t treat it like an actual therapist with honors from Harvard. But the programming and artificial intelligence are elegant. The writing is really humorous and goes beyond scripted code. Studies show that chatting with such entertaining chatbots reduce depression symptoms. Is’nt this something we can be glad of. Imagine in a few years we could perfect this enigma and have bots that can empathize with the person. A time where suicidal tendencies can vanish away from people struggling with social anxiety. Quite a fascinating scope for them in the future for sure.
Now its time to talk about all those voice-based chatbots that you see every day. Siri blew up back in 2011 but recently has taken a backseat. The ones contending for the throne of the best chatbot right now is the Google Assitant and Alexa. But it is important to talk about Siri too. The poor thing needs some attention after all. Siri was developed by SRI International – selected by DARPA to head its artificial intelligence unit. It was such a raging trend back in the day to just talk silly stuff to Siri just to watch how sassy she would get. If you are still curious just go ahead and ask her “How old are you?”
But we are done with those days when chatbots were just for fun. I myself would love some functionality in them. Enter the new age Google Assistant. Google’s chatbot has a unique advantage in the field. You can continue conversations over without worrying about it forgetting the context of your conversation. To learn more about its conversation skills click here.
Alexa, although very successful with the Echo, has a few gripes to be dealt with. This is because of the biases you can get about product prices and such – after all its an Amazon product, no wonder the only shopping details you can get are the ones that are based on their website. In the same way, Apple just serves their audience. Siri has no interest on the latest Android version or about your PC rig building questions. Cortana just like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, is a subject better left untouched. In such a climate Google has the high ground. With a vast sea of information just waiting to be played with, we can expect really surprising things from Google from now on. The latest keynote had Google CEO Sundar Pichai flaunting Assistant’s amazing ability to make calls and reserve seats for dinner on your behalf. Wow! But there is an underdog lurking in the muddy waters – Facebook has been quite shady about the developments of its ‘M’ voice assistant. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype.
Apps are failing – let’s face it. We use literally just around 5 apps every day repeatedly. The rest of the clutter is just aimlessly waiting there quivering for your slightest touch. The half a dozen ones that we use are mostly social media apps. The rest are mostly shopping apps and such. For all your other needs we usually turn to the wisdom of our search engines. This is where a well-designed chatbot can help out. A niche category where the perfectly written piece of art can shine. Just imagine of a chatbot that you can install and that’s it. All of those 3 AM weird thought can be talked out aloud to and there you have it – an answer! A chatbot can be all that and more; the perfect line between your problem and its solution.
Go ahead and integrate a chatbot with your brand website. This is what you have been waiting for all this time, haven’t you – a nod so you can go cause some damage. Well, I’ll extend you an olive branch. See you don’t HAVE to use a chatbot. If you are a startup and specialize in the personal touch, I’m sure your clients would rather appreciate just talking to you. But in case you have a lot of clients and handling all their queries are a pain, sure go ahead and embed that piece of code. A chatbot can help streamline the customer relation process. Make sure that it does not sound mechanical and can interact in a productive manner. Chatbots have a long road ahead of them. Keep yourself updated on the latest happenings in the artificial intelligence circles so you are one step ahead. More ways to boost your branding and marketing strategies are just a click away at Adhuntt. Good luck with your brand!