To normal people like us, what does chatbot even mean? We hear about it and even use many chatbots, knowingly or unknowingly. But to many, this technology is still an untouched piece of stone. So, in this blog, we will be talking about what are chatbots and will also discover their importance in the 21st century.
What is a Chatbot?
Chatbot technology is a designed tool powered by the rules of Artificial Intelligence (AI), acts as a simulator of human conversation for the purpose of automating a business process. Chatbots facilitate user interactions when placed within the messenger apps that act as a platform for supporting the bots.
Like Siri for brands, chatbots are quickly rising as a new “voice” in consumer communications. These chatty computer programs respond to texts or digital chats, effectively carrying on quasi-conversations with the humans (your current and potential customers) on the other end. Thanks to advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), these bots have stronger conversation abilities than ever before.
Chatbots are everywhere!
Bots let you use the channel preferred by your customers, employees, and stakeholders to communicate with you. The world has moved to a text-message era. Chatbots allow you to pinpoint your queries and get relevant answers rather than traditionally using scrolls and click-to-find the information you are looking for. Of course, bots eliminate the need for traditional call channels, inconsistent customer service and wait and drop times. You can integrate chatbots like IBM Watson Assistant, Engati, and any other platforms to get your chatbot online!
How do Chatbots work?
A chatbot acts as an intermediary that imitates human conversations by initiating live chats instantaneously and responding tirelessly to the user queries at any point in time.
All the working chatbots today are mainly based on this model:
- Knowledge Base/ CMS :
Real-time, personalised customer experience.
Universal contact accessibility and personalisation.
Ability to reach and retain customers.
- NLP Layer :
Mapping the given input in natural language into useful representation.
Analysing different aspects of the language.
- Data Store :
Data required to train the bot.
Users chat comes to bot once it’s deployed.
There are a couple of different ways that chatbots can be programmed. The most rudimentary form is rules-based. Typical Rule-based approach requires heavy coding, consumes time, resources and money. Rule-based Chatbots only respond to specific commands and are basic in nature and functionalities.
Bots have evolved from that, to incorporating NLP which translates common language into a form the bot’s system understands, as well as Machine Learning that allows the chatbot to learn from it’s own experience and helps you deliver a better customer experience. Hence, to build a full-fledged chatbot manually, you will have to program these AI applications in it.
While making smart chatbots, a builder has to comprise conversational dialogue training. Such dialogue training is done with the help of artificial intelligence, hence the name “AI chatbots”. The building process of all AI chatbots is pretty innovatory, mainly comprising of these three protocols-
- Data processing– Data processing is basically a multi-step natural language processing workflow to correctly recognise and infer free input text. This process requires serious engineering efforts when the input is multi-line/multi-objective.
- Context- This helps the program to learn the interdependence between dialogues and the course of actions so that chatbots can drive the conversation in the right direction. This keeps the availability of previous chat conversations (message logs) in check, in order to build knowledge graphs.
- Chatbot training– Providing training to learn new conversations at all times to improve chatbots performance with the help of unsupervised methods based on machine learning techniques.
Another approach to build bots would be opting for services which render you a substructure to build your chatbots on, without the need for any coding or programming. In this process, a bot builder uses one single code that can be used by all, at all the platforms available. They consist of all the necessary and advanced elements pre-built in the substructure that lets you build a chatbot that stands out in the competitive market out there. Chatbot building is no longer rocket science and has been made a lot easier through several chatbot platforms.