CHATBOT: Computers have never been so friendly before
Computers are evolving to help us at anything we do in our life. Key for our acceptance is their simplicity of use. In that sense Chatbots are the breakthrough to make any computer our new best friend forever (BFF)
People are overwhelmed with the amount of new digital tools, apps or social media every day. Most of the times these digital tools or apps are very tempting, however it is not always clear how to use them.
Parallel, new digital terms and vocabulary are popping up, they are either too technical to be understood or sound like out of a science fiction movie. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data all these buzzwords don’t mean too much to majority of us. If we can imagine what they could mean, it is still too abstract to understand their full significance. The easiest way to understand them is to start using them.
Here comes the next big challenge; how do we use them? Do we need to read the long boring user manual? At the moment of our high interest, we have short patience to start using them. As the learning time prolongs, our desire is fading away.
What makes the Chatbots different than today’s common practices? The Chatbots are simple and very easy to adopt into our life; they are interacting with us in conversations like we would be talking to a friend. The corresponding digital term is “conversational interface”. No need to learn anything new. We need our common sense to use this technology. We initiate a written or verbal dialog with a BOT. Then the bot gives answers to our questions based on its trained intelligence.
Three Phases of Computer Evaluation
Conversational Interfaces are the third phase of the computers since the personal computers were born. The first phase was the “Terminal interface”. We had to be a computer programmer (or a.k.a. nerd) to use the computers, therefore the use of computers was only limited to very technical use cases and mainly helped the machines to become more efficient.
The second phase was the “Graphical Interface”. It was the first step towards human friendly computers. It used visual representations of programs, files and actions, leveraging many of the mental model’s people already had from the real world. This made it much easier for users to interact with a machine, and in this phase the usage of computers spread all over the world. But it still had limitations. It was abstract and had to follow predefined sequence of steps, which is not always easy to adopt.
A third wave has emerged, and it is what we’re calling the “Conversational Interface”. This interface replaces all abstract sequence of predefined steps with the most natural way of human communication: DIALOG in written or verbal forms. This is actually most personalized experience which we have seen so far in digital. Anyone can start the conversation in their way and the computer adopts itself to our needs and leads the dialog only based on our questions and statements.
In short, we are moving from us having to learn how to interact with computers to computers learning how to interact with us*.
Let’s look into an example, where Chatbots have already started the increase the quality of our lives. Intelligent personal assistant, which take off the burden on me
Have you ever been a part of the large queue at the general practitioner?
Did you feel that the doctor has to treat the ill people like in an assembly line work? There are of course some cases, which takes high attention of the doctor, however most of the cases the questions are basic and similar, therefore may not even got the required time as much as necessary. This makes ill person nervous, clueless or even frustrated. Imagine a young mother with a three weeks old baby without any experience. She will bombard the doctor with tons of questions. What is the ideal temperature for the baby’s food? How much should eat my baby? What is the temperature for a baby that requires intervention? Does my baby sleep enough? For such cases, our personal BOT doctor does more accurate job and pay each person the required amount of attention by answering every question in depth clarification to relief.
On the other hand, can we really trust to a computer that much? Treat our beloved babies based on computers answers? Decide for an operation based on computer’s recommendation?
We are going to live this evaluation all together.
(chat)BOTs are inevitable in tomorrow’s digital age and it is going to even enable to broader use of digital solution as part of our day-to-day life, just cause of its simplicity of use.
Inspirational Source: * http://digintent.com/bots/