4 Genius Ways Chatbots are Transforming Businesses Today
It’s official: Chatbots have become ubiquitous. Though some have been quicker than others in adopting AI-supported tools, bots can be found in every industry under the sun.
If you haven’t been keeping track, here are some quick examples. In finance, companies such as Digit and Cleo have been basking in the success of chatbots that drive microsaving by putting small amounts into their customers’ savings each day. The construction industry has been begging for chatbots to increase location-based interaction with equipment and engineers with the goal to contain costs. And last but arguably most impressive, some healthcare companies have been training chatbots to be reliable health assistants that can diagnose health concerns and solve health management issues. Still, many business leaders cringe at the thought of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-powered chatbots. Some don’t even know what a chatbot is. So let’s start there.
What is a chatbot? Think of a chatbot as an application that people can converse with through text messaging, Skype, or other communication channels. Beyond text, chatbots can also communicate with cards or speech. While they’re sometimes referred to as a conversational interface designed to simplify complex, routine tasks—their function goes beyond that. Companies have been using chatbot technology in stand-alone applications, communication frameworks, and predictive analytics. Their incredible ability to master rote procedures has led to a reduction in employee burnout, as well as, increased productivity for the businesses that use them. It should come as no surprise why companies across sectors are using chatbots to improve their operations.
Nonetheless, chatbots still need some improvement. To drive adoption, developers are investing long hours to enhance bots’ ability to act in a more human-like manner. Chatbots will be excellent at detecting tone and interpreting non-verbal cues to improve human-machine interactions very soon. If you’re alarmed, don’t be. Chatbots are not here to replace humans; they’re here to extend human capability and enhance the way we do business. Check out four genius ways chatbots are transforming businesses across industries:
There are thousands of simple questions that do not require the full attention of a medical professional. “How much sleep should I get each night?” and “Am I drinking enough water?” are just two. While ignoring these concerns is not ethical, the truth is there aren’t enough trained professionals to address each and every question. Conversely, if we allow them to remain unanswered, the result can be dread, confusion, and anxiety for the person asking the question as well as their loved ones.
The need for chatbots in healthcare is glaringly obvious. And while it is a little-known fact, chatbots are not new to the space. The first “operative” bot in healthcare dates back to 50 years ago. Eliza was her name. And she was designed to behave as a therapist that asks questions simply by rearranging what the patient said. Even though this chatbot was not as advanced as its modern counterparts, it was certainly a neat invention.
Currently, there is a growing number of start-ups and companies offering life-changing solutions. For the visually impaired, companies like Horus and Be My Eyes are literally transforming the way they live. These AI-supported apps allow impaired individuals to engage with the world like never before and live a more independent life.
Who can forget when Microsoft and the City of Los Angeles came together to unveil CHIP earlier this year? CHIP, an Azure Government chatbot whose name stands for “City Hall Internet Personality” runs in the Microsoft cloud. It lives on Los Angeles’s Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN), and was created by two city developers. With training from Microsoft and access to the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite, the Azure Bot Framework, and Microsoft Azure Cloud, the developers were able to create CHIP in only 3 days.
CHIP has been a success from inception. So far, it has been able to reduce email traffic by 50% allowing the city to run smoothly without increasing headcount. It is also drawing positive attention for its ability to improve constituent services. CHIP can answer over 700 questions, and through an extensible platform and API, can connect to any data or back-end system. Moreover, it has helped representatives of the city’s more than 97,000 businesses search out contract opportunities, register to receive emails — even look for North American Industry Classification System code according to Government Technology.
For the City of Los Angeles and Microsoft, the bot’s potential for bringing people together and improving transparency far outstrips its current position. The city’s CIO Ted Ross is one of CHIP’s biggest fans. “When you have a city of over 4 million people it’s impossible to bring everyone into a football stadium all at once to talk to them. Technology is the platform in which we engage people,” Ross said. To Ross, the implementation of emerging technologies such as chatbots reflects “the culture of innovation” that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has establishing in City Hall.
Chatbots are thriving in the banking world. Not only are they a cost-effective digital solution, but they’re also easy to maintain. Bots require less coding than standalone banking apps and they save banks the money of developing unique channels. It’s a win-win.
Want to know why companies like Stripe are giving traditional banks a run for their money? Its adoption of chatbots and machine learning to combat online payments fraud. DBS Bank, one of Asia’s leading banks with over $320 billion in assets, is also a proud user of AI-powered technologies. In response to the changing needs of its customer base, DBS adopted Kasisto’s Kai which is the underlying technology of MyKai. Kai allows customers to conduct transactions such as transfers and bill paying, but it goes beyond. The chatbot allows customers to ask about their personal finances using messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger to appeal to a younger crowd.
DBS is not the only one. HSBC, the seventh-largest bank in the world is also on board. Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC, spoke very favorably of emerging technologies at the inaugural International Fintech Conference: “Using AI and machine learning to police the financial system is creating opportunities to do things better, to protect customers and ourselves.”
Classrooms have been seeing chatbots as an increasingly powerful solution over the last few years. Historically, education has been a sector in which technology advances at a sluggish pace. But that may no longer be the case. Thanks to modern advances in chatbot technology, new opportunities have emerged in feedback collection. Student evaluations of teaching surveys is nothing new. Collecting feedback with chatbots is. It was an area widely-acknowledged to be filled with valuable data, yet nobody knew how to improve it. The adoption of chatbots has allowed teachers to collect opinions through a conversational interface that feels like a human-human interview, but takes a fraction of the time. In addition to being a fantastic solution for survey collection, teachers are beginning to look for chatbots to improve areas like self-assessment, peer feedback, and grading.
Last year, Bill Gates announced that he was working to change the role of AI in education. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates invested more than $240 million in “personalized learning.” The goal of this AI-supported initiative is to develop software that creates custom lesson plans based on a student’s performance, coaching them through trouble spots until they have mastered the subject at hand. Teachers still play a central role in the classroom, but they do less lecturing and more one-on-one coaching. Thanks to AI millions of students will get the specialized education they need to become the leaders of the future.
How Advoqt can help
The technological advancements in chatbot technology have made leaps and bounds in recent years and there are no signs it is slowing down. Chatbots are here to stay. The growing popularity of social media channels and messaging apps have made bots indispensable. Today, bots are transforming the private and public sector in ways noone thought possible. If you’re ready to explore how chatbots can enhance your business, give Advoqt a call. Let’s start talking about your custom chatbot solution.
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