AI, NLG, and Machine Learning

Chatbots: Disruptors of Human-Machine Relationships

The future of AI goes hand in hand with the future of chatbots. Chatbots aren’t a passing trend—they’re here to stay and will become even more powerful with time.

By Ronald van Loon
March 24, 2020

Voice assistants and chatbots are changing the face of communication, and they’re set to have a significant impact on brands and their audiences. In fact, the global chatbot market is predicted to reach $4.02 billion by 2025, a staggering increase from $858.1 million in 2017.

Chatbots are ubiquitous, and we find them in more and more scenarios every day. In this article, Ronald van Loon discusses the impact of chatbots on industries and explores how they’ll drive the innovations we expect in the future. He pens his thoughts based on years of experience as a leading influencer for artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), predictive analytics, big data, and machine learning.

Ronald wrote this article following the webinar made available through Amazon’s discover.bot, a great resource for everything related to AI and chatbots, including the latest happenings around the industry.

Chatbots are currently an industry-disrupting tool that serves to broaden the types and range of digital interactions and to drive personalization. They automate processes and make it easier for organizations to manage data and add value to it. AI chatbots are creating new experiences for businesses, consumers, and interpersonal interactions, and they’re changing the very nature of the human-machine relationship.

The future of AI goes hand in hand with the future of chatbots. Chatbots aren’t a passing trend—they’re here to stay and will become even more powerful with time.

AI chatbots thrive on data

Data sits at the focal point of everything AI, which is why it’s necessary for organizations to manage it. The Age of AI can also be considered the Age of Data. In fact, we’ve witnessed a surge in data. And this data can be put to work for many AI technologies, such as chatbots.

Every organization has different levels of structured or unstructured data stacked within its pipeline to give customers the exact experience they are looking for. Organizations can use this data in many ways to help understand and reach customers.

Customer-related data around the globe is expected to reach a massive 175 zettabytes by the year 2025, and it’s believed that 30 percent of this data would need real-time processing for results. The downtime that we currently see between data accumulation and data utilization will soon be a thing of the past.

Data is the building block for all AI implementation plans. The success of an organization’s future AI goals will rely on the ability to acquire and use the right data. You need clean and unbiased data, and it must be organized and actionable enough to help you move forward. A key factor in achieving success and innovation with chatbots is the ability to strategically leverage data and AI capabilities.

The intelligent technological pillars of chatbots

Multiple technologies allow companies to harness the capabilities of chatbots, driving the best possible results, making chatbots more advanced and intuitive to interact with, opening up new areas of potential, and spanning industries. Both AI and machine learning can help you to improve a chatbot’s ability to understand both the context and the intent behind communication.

Chatbots powered by AI are self-learning and can decipher not only the given commands but also the nature of the communication. They can take a significant amount of data and process it to determine the context behind speech and visual elements.

AI is critical to the improvement of chatbots, and current innovations depend on AI technologies, including natural language processing, deep learning, and machine learning. These technologies enable the chatbot to better understand how humans speak and what they mean when they interact through the chatbot’s conversational interface.

For these technologies to be successful, chatbots must go through copious amounts of data. AI technologies can accelerate chatbot performance and results, and they can support new chatbot developments, applications, and capabilities. Back in January 2016, Amazon Alexa had 130 skills to boast of. At the end of 2019, thanks to AI incorporation, this figure had increased to 100,000 Alexa skills.

Chatbot proliferation and new applications

Chatbots frequently have an incredible impact on official communication between brands and consumers. They can help improve employee experiences and lead to multiple business benefits. Plus, they work around the clock—an attractive incentive for businesses—providing constant support to customers. Gone are the days of worry about lack of customer support as a result of restricted business hours or limited live support.

Additionally, chatbots can be virtual assistants in your home or on your mobile devices, handling management tasks and helping to eradicate process inefficiencies. As an example, Alexa can be fully incorporated within your home setup, integrating with other smart devices, and can help you better manage daily chores and home interactions.
Chatbots also have exciting applications across multiple industries. For example, in healthcare, chatbots can replace numerous administrative and communication roles that are typically handled by humans, including patient support, like scheduling appointments and answering questions.

Additionally, chatbots can also come in handy for insurance, legal, financial, and customer support industries, to name just a few. Automation helps eradicate inefficiencies and helps to ensure that processes are more streamlined, productive, and timely.

A maturing technology with humanizing potential

Chatbots are evolving over time, and so is the experience that they promise users. They aren’t just limited to business applications anymore, and they offer a deep well of potential for humans—for interacting with one another and with the world we live in.

For example, multiple emotional well-being and therapy chatbots help support people who struggle with mental health issues. They’re used to create new and enhanced ways to help humans access techniques to cope with stress and anxiety, behavioral modification exercises, and supportive information.

Chatbots are becoming more humanized, and AI is behind this trend. Through emotionally supportive applications, AI chatbots can help people address feelings of depression or alienation. With more social and mental health use cases emerging, AI chatbots could soon be a common fixture in our daily personal and social interactions.

Looking toward the future

Chatbots may well become even more human-like in the future, and many organizations are expected to join in the chatbot race and in this significant innovation. In fact, research predicts that chatbots will help companies pioneer with their data while also increasing the efficiency of business lines, such as customer support and assistance. These changes will likely also improve the coordination between customers and brands and may further disrupt the nature of human-technology relationships. In the future, AI-powered chatbots may be more popular than ever.

*The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only information. The information is not a supplement to, nor a substitute for, the knowledge, skill, and judgment of qualified professionals in their respective fields (e.g., legal, healthcare, etc.).

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