A chatbot is a computer program that can simulate and process human conversation in such a way that humans can communicate with it as if they were communicating with a real person. Today many companies have realised the potential of chatbots in various applications.
Journey of chatbot technology
Though chatbots are generally thought to be a recent phenomenon, it is not the case. Chatbots have evolved from simple scripts to making use of artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate human interactions. Over the years, various chatbots have come up with increasingly advanced features. Some of these chatbots are:
- Elizza: It was the first ever chatbot that was created at MIT in 1966. The main purpose of this bot was to create an interface between humans and machine. It was able to impersonate the responses of a non-directional psychotherapist.
- Parry: It was a chatbot created at Stanford University in 1972. It was a modified version of Elizza with an attitude. Parry and Elizza were hooked to each other through ARPANET and communicated with each other. In the Turing test, psychiatrists were able to differentiate only 48% of the responses from a real human and Parry.
- Jabberwacky: It was the first chatbot to simulate human voice. It was created to pass the Turing test.
- Dr Sbaitso: Created in 1992, it had a UI where it imitated the responses of a psychologist.
- ALICE: It was created in 1995 and inspired by Elizza. It became the most famous chatbot of the 20th century. It was able to chat with humans in a more efficient manner due to its heuristic functions. This chatbot inspired Apple’s Siri and many science fiction movies.
- Siri: Apple’s personal assistant was a revolution in chatbot technology. It came with a range of commands like reminders, checking basic information, event scheduling, internet search etc.
Other chatbots that came up were IBM Watson, which was a revolution in natural language processing, as well as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Dialog Flow.
Advantages of chatbots for business
Chatbots are being used a lot by companies today because of the following advantages:
- They are available to engage customers 24×7.
- If a large number of requests are coming in, by having chatbots, a company need not have a huge team if there is a good chatbot available to process them.
- Chatbots save money for companies in the long run due to low maintenance costs, though the initial development cost can be a bit substantial.
- Data recorded through customer interactions is used by chatbots to learn and improve performance.
- Chatbots can be integrated to multiple platforms. Companies can choose whatever platform they wish to reach out to customers and integrate accordingly. They can be integrated with whatsapp, facebook, twitter etc.
Challenges of chatbot adoption
Despite the advantages chatbots have, quite a number of companies struggle to adopt them due to the following challenges:
- Difficulty in getting customers to use them.
- Unreal expectations from chatbots due to influence of sci-fi movies.
- Failure to integrate into organisational workflows.
- Unpredictability of user responses in a conversation.
All that organisations have to do is overcome these adoption challenges, and they will be well on their way to success with the help of chatbots. To overcome these challenges, there is a need for a trusted chatbot development consultant who can guide you in successful adoption.
We at Acropolis can be your trusted. Contact us right now to have our technology experts at your service! All you need to do is have a detailed discussion with us about your needs, and upon your approval of our recommendations, we will help you achieve your business goals! And at affordable rates too! Even better, our services are available to businesses anywhere in the world! We cater to clients from US, UK, Australia, Germany, France and many more countries!