Chatbots are programming codes that respond to queries and build a conversation via text or auditory methods. Chatbots are also known as Virtual Assistants, Talkbot, Chatterbot, Instant Messengers(IM), Interactive Agents(IA)or ACE – Artificial Conversational Entity. Chatbots are conversational programs that have human-like response abilities for specific queries. The term Chatbot is short for Chatterbot, which was coined by Michael Mauldin to describe the computer coding for conversational programs after he created the first Verbot (Verbally Enhanced Software Robot /Verbal Robot) – Julia in 1994.
Chatbots try to mimic human conversation skills using Artificial Intelligence technology like Natural Language Processing(NLP) and image, video, and audio analysis(Deep Learning). These programs learn from their past interactions and analyze available data to become smarter over the time. Chatbots are designed to work in two ways- 1) Rule-based; and2) Smart machine based.Rule-based chatbots or Virtual Assistants respond to customers based on predefined responses after analyzing the keywords mentioned in the query that are saved in the database. Smart Machine based chatbots use Artificial Intelligence(NLP & Machine Learning) and cognitive computing to adapt based on the interaction with the customer. Chatbots are being used by businesses for – Customer facingInstant Messengers(Facebook, wechat) or Virtual Sales Assistants(for online sales, banks, food order & delivery). App and websites are incorporating chatbots as Travel booking assistants – Expedia has been using chatbots to respond to customer queries. or for Airlines.
Closed-user group PlatformsChatbots are used by many companies as the first line of communication for customer support and for automated query handling. Gaming & ToysChatbots are also being used in toys and digital games for an immersive and interactive experience.The chatbot revolution is in its early phase and with the evolution of Advanced Technologies like NLP & Deep Learning the potential is immense. Organizations are investing heavily in this space as the future chatbots are going to be more powerful and will be smart enough to help with your decision making also provide forecasts and possible result outcomes.