Artificial Intelligence and Chat Bots: A Social Networking Phenomenon
What is a chatbot? Simply put, a chat bot is a software program used in conjunction with a web server, to perform an on-line chat communication via text or voice-to-voice, instead of giving direct human interaction by giving out physical contact with another human being. While chat bots were once associated with certain chat services like AOL chat rooms, this service has evolved into something more along the lines of a personal assistant, complete with all of the same capabilities. Today’s chat bot programs are capable of doing all sorts of tasks, from simple text-to-voice chat functions, all the way up to advanced profile management and data collection. In fact, some chat bot programs can function as virtual assistants that can take basic notes and even complete surveys or work applications; they can also be adept at managing email and calendars, and many can even be programmed to perform a wide variety of multi-media chat functions, such as sending and receiving emails, posting pictures, and browsing various social networking sites.
However, the original and still popular chat bot is Microsoft’s Messenger Bot. For those who don’t use the internet every day, you may not realize that this chat bot is one of the most popular programs for use on Facebook, as well as a huge presence on the worldwide-web. The Messenger Bot has been used for years as a kind of social utility, allowing people to communicate using chat programs instead of phone calls, and was the first bot designed to run on Facebook. In fact, the Facebook chatbot still continues to increase in popularity among Facebook users, and has even gained a new purpose: being able to perform a variety of tasks that regular chat programs would normally allow users to do.
Bot programs have become so popular because many of us use several different chat bots, for various reasons. Since it’s difficult to keep track of our multiple messaging and instant messaging accounts on a daily basis, having an easy-to-use program that can handle everything for us is definitely a big plus. Many chat bots provide such options as remembering chat history and recording sent messages and even helping to send out messages in response to certain commands or requests.
Aside from all the convenience that chatbot programs provide, however, chat bot programs have also begun to gain recognition for other reasons. In particular, some bot programs are being used by businesses to automate a wide range of processes, ranging from updating information on website pages to helping customers search for information on specific products. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few examples of what these chat bots are helping businesses with today.
If you’re familiar with chatbot technology, you’ve probably seen the applications already, or at least heard of its potential uses. Basically, artificial intelligence plays an important role in these bot programs, helping them make decisions based on a number of factors. For example, if a chat bot is tasked to find the closest restaurant in a given city, it may not be able to figure out which is the best because it doesn’t have the same knowledge as humans do. However, an artificial intelligence system will recognize the city’s landmarks and variables, eventually putting together a good recommendation for finding the best Chinese restaurant.
AI chat bot technology can help in many other ways as well. Take, for example, the new service that Twitter just launched called Tweetdeck. What makes this service different than, say, Facebook’s news feeds or Google’s map or location services? Basically, Twitter aims to build a more personalized experience by collecting different types of information and using it to make better decisions. Basically, a user can look like they’re conversing with a real person if they so choose, and they can also interact with that same person in real time.
Similarly, artificial intelligence has been used in chat bot systems to pre-populate conversations. Say, for example, that you want to initiate a discussion on weather, and before you begin typing out your query, the chat bot would ask you questions such as: “When was the last time you saw a thunderstorm?” The reason that this works so well is because most people are going to assume that they’ve been in a storm recently simply because of what they hear in the news, but actually they’ve been discussing the weather for years, even decades.
Now, a chatbot must decide how to present itself. To do that it must think like a human would. To do that it must learn as much as possible about its environment and the types of queries it may receive. Only then will it be able to adapt its knowledge, experience, and skills to the needs of the users. With this knowledge, it will be able to answer the questions users have and make them appear very natural – it won’t try to sell the user into something it knows nothing about, and it will instead give helpful, relevant answers.