What makes a great chatbot?
For the purpose of this article, we will only consider computer-human relationships. Chatbot to Chatbot discussion is another hot (and controversial) topic especially with the recent Facebook AI shut down, whose AI program started to speak in its own language. For more information on this topic, I recommend the following link: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2274480-facebook-shut-down-ai-after-it-invented-its-own-language/.
But for now, let’s focus on the following issues:
What makes a chatbot successful? What features should a company look for when building a bot to attract new customers and keep its current ones?
– Obviously, a two-way communication channel is a great competitive edge for a business. Each customer or potential customer, can interact with a “virtual representative” and get personalized feedback. Chatbots squeeze between the traditional one-way communication websites and contacting the company directly. Although current conversational AI programs are not as satisfying as human-to-human interactions, they can provide useful information to the user, collect precious data for the company and leverage it to ensure a better user experience  and, as it is an automated program, their response time is much faster.
– Lark’s chatbot  acts as an “AI nurse” and focuses on patients with chronic diseases like diabetes or heart failures. It not only provides useful medical advice but also creates a real human connection with the user. During a keynote presentation at Stanford, Julia Hu , CEO and Founder at Lark, mentioned what makes a great conversational AI. According to her, one can narrow down its research and focus on four main features:
– Contextual Data to create a History using mainly passive data to gain knowledge and make better decisions
– Good UX (user experience) as it improves the ease of use of the product and “humanize” the conversation.
– Personalization: One must leverage the data it collects by learning from past experiences to create a personalized and hopefully long-term relationship with the user.
– And finally, as obvious as it sounds, the content must be helpful and meet the needs of the consumers.
– So far, we only mentioned how humanized, a conversational AI can become. But it’s not just replicating the “human-touch” that makes bots successful. Their ability to trigger task is as impressive, if not more. Whether you need to call a nurse with Lark or to reserve a table at a restaurant, triggered task chatbots can actually do things for you. Advanced bots can implement speech recognition to prevent the user from even typing their requests and complex task interactions to define more precisely the user’s needs. Siri, Alexa or Cortana are the most popular ones as they managed to gather these techniques into one bot.
To conclude, a good chatbot makes your life easier on the consumer’s side and improve your business’s efficiency on the company’s side. I believe the next milestone regarding bots will be reached when conversational AI programs will be able to pass the Turing test which can be defined as an experiment that succeeds in simulating the “presence of mind, or thought, or intelligence in a machine. “
: Source for the image: Deloitte University press