Like Life, Chatbots Are Semi Perfect

September 22, 2020

Chatbots are notoriously dumb pieces of AI that parrot information coded into their programs. They are also annoying, because they never have the correct information. Chatbots, however, are useful tools and developers are improving them to actually be useful. Medium runs down the differences between chatbots: “Updated: A Comparison Of Eight Chatbot Environments.”

Most chatbot environments have the same approach for a conversational interface, but there are four distinct development groups: avant-garde, NLU/NLP tools, use-the-cloud-you’re-in, and leading commercial cloud offerings. There are cross-industry trends across these groups:

“ The merging of intents and entities

• Contextual entities. Hence entities sans a finite list and which is detected by their context within a user utterance.

• Deprecation of the State Machine. Or at least, towards a more conversational like interface.

• Complex entities; introducing entities with properties, groups, roles etc.”

Beyond the industry trends, chatbots are transitioning from the stupid instant messaging programs to interactive, natural language driven, digital employee that “thinks and acts” like a real human. Companies want to use chatbots to grow by being able to comprehend past and current conversations, from multiple sources, and from CRM sources.

Chatbots cannot be compared because their frameworks are so different, but there are five consideration points. The NLU features, ecosystem maturity, licensing/usage costs, graphic call flow front-end developing and editing, and scalability and enterprise readiness are the important consideration points.

Chatbots are becoming smarter and already handle many customer service jobs. If they can actually resolve the problems customers contact companies for, then science fiction truly has become reality.

Whitney Grace, September 22, 2020

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