Do you know what chatbots are and their types?
A chatbot is a specified software program that empowers the machine to interact with a human being. Chatbots act as virtual assistants in commercial organizations and are useful in personal life.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a specified software program that empowers the machine to interact with a human being or vice versa. Chatbot acts as a virtual assistant in commercial organizations, adding value to the establishment. Virtual assistants perform many tasks on behalf of the organization on automation needs to be achieved over a phone conversation.
The chatbots are capable enough to answer simple stereotype queries such as the email address of an establishment, and the list of services being provided in a precise manner, at a given time. They can also be in a comfortable position to assess the common queries of the customers and to provide input for the purpose.
In the year 1960, text-based bots were designed for the first time initiating a technological evolution in computer science to perform and from that day “chatbot” got its name. However, over the long span of time technology touched new heights. Automated Speech Recognition(ASR) technology, Natural Language Understanding(NLU), Natural Language Processing(NLP), Machine Learning(ML), etc. empowered the chatbot as a voice bot and intelligent one.
We can divide the chatbot into text-based bots and voice bots.
Text-based chatbots use written text to interact with human users. They are engaged on a chat interface of a company/corporate’s website, in an app in messenger service. Whatsapp and messenger services of Facebook are some examples. They may be rule-based preprogrammed or AI-fed more intelligent to perform a complex task.
Voice bots are more advanced than text-based bots and capable enough to perform many complex tasks. They may act in a proactive voice conversation with the clients and memorize the conversation for a long and can anticipate further queries. Voice bots are equipped with voice Artificial intelligence, that listens, understands, and talks like humans.
They are specialized customer service tools that can understand the user’s natural language and act proactively to answer queries. Further, they may engage in very natural deeper engagement behavior causing the conversation human-like and realistic. Highly sophisticated technology driven by Natural Language Understanding(NLU), Automated Speech Recognition(ASR) technology, Natural Language Processing(NLP), Machine Learning(ML), etc made chatbots very capable voice bots.
In some cases, they may excel the human agents. Voice bots are more reasoning, and data-driven, allowing the calls automatically logged, transcribed, and stored for future reference. They are fit for more aggressive, focused, and strategic marketing scenarios. Examples of such bots are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and SimSimi of IsMaker.
Further, the chatbots may be classified as follows;
Menu/button-based Chatbots are basic types of bots that are prevalent in the market today. The technology is based on a fixed decision tree that is displayed to the customers on clickable buttons. The said chatbot gives the customers alternate choices to choose the best for the satisfaction of the users and is capable of answering the most frequently asked questions. However, they may not perform in the most complicated scenarios.
Such chatbots are designed to perform a specific set of tasks. They can make forecasts of the weather for some days to come and when connected to a smart home can operate the home appliances remotely online. Further such bots can order grocery items from online stores.
Technology like machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural Language Processing(NLP) empowered chatbots more skilled. Developers have the privilege and liberty to develop their own skill bots as per requirement and integrate them with other platforms for maximum advantage. Alexa is such a type of bot.
Linguistic or rule-based:
Linguistic/rule-based chatbots follow a specific flow of chat to answer the queries of the customers such as using if/ then log in. They are programmed to answer predefined and stereo-typed questions in conversation. Any queries outside the specified one could not be entertained by the bots.
Social messaging chatbots are very popular nowadays with the increase in social media. Social media Houses/organizations engage artificial intelligence-integrated bots in such crazy messaging platforms. They generate promotional messages, deals, and offers of the companies for the customers and individual messages also. Social media platforms include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Keyword recognition based:
Keyword recognition-based chatbots are more advance than menu-based bots. Such bots are customized keywords and Natural Language Processing (NLP), which made them understand the customer’s queries and respond correctly. Here the customers have to initiate interaction with text input for the response of the bots. However, when there is keyword repetition across many associated inquiries, such bots fail to perform.H
Machine Learning Chatbots:
Machine Learning Chatbots are automated programs to empower the machine to make conversation with human users through text messages or voice chats or both as per the situation demands. They can memorize the conversation with a specific user, anticipate further queries from the same person and act smartly. Machine Learning Chatbots are self-improving machines having contextual awareness.
If such bots are engaged in online stores, hotels, and restaurants they can keep orders from customers, keep the filtered data from each conversation, and further it can anticipate common orders from each customer. They can remember the payment information, delivery address, delivery time, etc, and merely ask the customers if they’d further like to repeat the order.
Hybride chatbots is a novel concept and marketing strategy to popularise chatbots with a live agent handoff feature. A hybrid is defined as “a thing made by combining two different elements” by the Oxford Dictionary of English. The term hybrid is very popular in life science, however, the concept in computer science is definitely amazing and comes with at least two integrated intelligent technology like Autopilot, Neural network, Genetic algorithms, Fuzzy Logic, etc. aided.
Features like AI and Autopilot etc added in rule-based chatbots making them more capable to take care of FAQs, keeping the data updated, and recording the questions not answered. Further, they can understand all queries irrespective of the term used by the users and are capable of booking appointments/reservations and retrieving data from integrated tools and external servers.
Chatbots are now a reality and an inseparable part of modern-day hospitality, trade, commerce, and many more sectors. They are virtual assistants doing many simple and complex assigned tasks round the clock without taking a break. In the personal life of an individual, they are acting as friends and entertain humans. SimSimi the amazing talking machine can talk for hours. Thanks to technological evolution and the people behind the research and development.