The concept of a “chatbot” isn’t exactly new. Ever since humans started to realize the potential of computers, they have striven to develop artificial intelligence programs that could organically interact with people.Think of the classic Jetson’s cartoon, which started airing the 1960’s. There were a variety of robots and computers that could talk with and interact with people.
In some ways, the technologies behind chatbots aren’t so dreamy as what we see in science fiction. In other ways, the technologies are even more advanced and impressive. Chatbots have emerged as fantastic and powerful tools for consumers and companies alike. A chatbot can improve a customer’s experience while also helping companies improve their bottom line.
So what’s the technology that powers chatbots? What’s the “ghost in the machine?” There are a lot of important concepts to understand, such as natural language processing (NLP) and the intelligent cloud. These technologies, among others, make it possible for chatbots to provide 24/7 customer and internal support. Let’s delve deeper into the technology behind chatbots.
Automation and Data Preparation
First, chatbots are automated. This means they act on their own and autonomously. Code is written. When a query is sent, this code is “triggered” and depending upon the response, executes. This means that there is no need for humans to intervene.
Of course, a programmer will first write the codes and scripts. Programmers can then later adjust the code. However, once the software is written, it will run on its own. This means that the chatbot itself is automated.
Importantly, this reduces the need for human labor. Automated software and tools are helping companies in a wide range of industries reduce labor costs. Automation is perhaps most well-known in the manufacturing industry. However, now automation is becoming essential for customer service, data crunching, and various other industries and tasks.
Chatbots are delivering the same improvements in cost savings and performance that has already been seen in the manufacturing industry. Chatbots allow people to focus on more important, value-added tasks while leaving the more menial tasks to the robots.
Understanding the Different Chatbot Models
There are several different ways to design and implement chatbots. Choosing the right chatbot model is important for any company that wants to maximize results. Let’s go over some of the key chatbot models and how they relate to NLP and the intelligent cloud.
Retrieval-based Models- With a retrieval-based model, a programmer will choose an appropriate response. The response is predefined and the chatbot simply fetches the right response. Retrieval models are relatively easy to set up. However, they are not as flexible as generative models. The only answers they can provide are the answers already provided to them.
Generative Models-A generative model is more flexible than a fetch-based model. A generative model is not limited to predefined answers and does not have to fetch every answer. Instead, a generative model can generate responses. However, to do this, a generative model needs to implement deep learning. Usually, generative models are connected to the intelligent cloud and feature advanced language processing.
The Evolution and Revolution of “Deep Learning”
Early chatbots were pretty simple. They simply supplied predefined answers to simple questions. Such retrieval bots were relatively limited but still very useful for automation and answering basic questions.
Then came deep learning. The past several years have seen the emergence of big data, data lakes, and other advanced data technologies. This allows for more data-driven processes and software, including chatbots.
Once you create a large enough corpora of text, your machine can start to learn and react on its own. Your chatbot can become “intelligent”, able to react to more complicated requests. With NLP and the intelligent cloud, advanced chatbots can now respond to countless different questions.
Data is often transformed into numbers. This is because computers read data in terms of numbers. By converting the data to numbers, it can be processed more easily. By plugging into the intelligent cloud, chatbots can process information even more quickly.
Chatbots are the Future and the Future is Now
Chatbots have proven to be wonderful, powerful, and flexible tools. They are revolutionizing not just the customer service space, but also human resources, manufacturing, B2B, and various other industries. Along the way, chatbots are lowering costs and increasing output in a myriad of ways.
Chatbots do require an initial investment. You will have to hire an advanced team of programmers and developers if you want to create your own chatbot. Or you can work with professional companies that already have experience in the field. When a system is designed and installed correctly it will help you cut costs while providing customers and other stakeholders with 24/7 service. This will lead to improved results and satisfaction rates.