Bots for Business, Chatbot Development

The ‘CurioXoma’ Method to Build Effective Bots

If you are reading this, I’m sure you love technology.

By Engel Fonseca
April 30, 2021

If you are reading this, I’m sure you love technology.

Have you noticed that much of the technology that seems amazing for us is also just like us? We humans like to “mirror” other things, places, and even cars. For example, we oftentimes find ourselves looking for a car that has some features that reflect our personalities. This is no coincidence. Creating these features generates a connection that can be developed within artificial intelligence (AI) and a bot for any brand or company. But this does not mean studying just about AI, it is also about human engagement and curiosity that generates sustainable connection.

We need to be clear on two concepts

1. Indifference.

The opposite of love is not actually hate—hate also connects. Within the education, we obtained that mostly had “Industrial era” mindset we were trained to accept boredom and disconnection. Indifference, or INDF, has a road map to exist:

- It needs to be predictable. Remember movies you´ve seen that you can predict in the first five minutes? Would you see them again?

- It repeats the same a lot. A bot that replies the same all the time is just asking you to leave.

- Protagonist overdose. When a person or brand only has conversations about itself, it is ineffectual.

- Urgency. How much value has a product or service when the salesman or saleswoman is so urgent to sell? The valued perception just drops.

- Generic content for specific needs. The act of generalizing kills your curiosity to customize and for tailor-made content.

Now, this applied to bot-making does not mean having a unique conversation every time but instead making it feel human for all.

So the opposite of indifference is not hate—it’s curiosity, or what I call “CurioXoma” (CX).

2. Engagement.

Can you define what it actually is? I like to represent it as EGG. To truly understand what this is, we need to accept that EGG is not just interaction. We interact with many people, sites, bots, brands, companies that don´t produce any EGG at all.

The reason is because EGG is the capability of visualizing the emotional balance from a person to another person or place, brand, or technology. Yes, an emotional balance.

What makes this balance have a positive turnout? There are four steps:

- Affirmation. This means to mirror people so they can feel good about being themselves through you. In a bot conversation, we “affirm” quite easily with replies like: you definitely know what you want
and I´m sure you know more than me about the issue

- Quality attention. Users value when we prepare great content and great replies, and we “pre-think” solutions. This only happens when we invest attention in building a bot. Also, it means that we need to make the user feel really heard. You can implement this by formulating great questions and even defining the limits of the bot to connect to a human to continue the experience.

- Unconditional service. Providing service only to actual clients does not generate engagement because is our responsibility. Including tips and curious facts about an issue within a bot is quite easy but not many do it.

- Physical contact. If the bot is made to avoid human interaction, then we lost the purpose of the bot itself. Users notice when bots are made to avoid human interaction, and the reactions are not favorable for your experience.

Bots are made to help us humans save time, so we can invest time to think, pre-think, and solve problems—not to make more problems.

What is CurioXoma?

It’s the opposite of indifference because curiosity provides:

A) Learning
B) Connection
C) Happiness

When you understand how to skill curiosity, then it’s called CurioXoma—and applied to AI it makes a lot of sense.

The thing is, if you are not a curious person yourself, you can´t provoke curiosity. You can inform, you can provide, but your engagement will be limited.

Indicator of a humanized bot

The way to achieve this is to make a bot look like us—human. I´m convinced that the best bots don´t seem like bots.

So rather achieve this we need to consider the following components regarding the personality of the “Bot Edition” that you developed:

It must have a respectful sense of humor.
It must have “typos” that correct.
It must formulate good questions.
It can’t reply at the speed of light.

Actually, the three little dots (while writing) that we see in many bots when we are awaiting the reply provoke curiosity.