Have you ever been involved in an online chat session and thought something isn’t quite right? It would seem as though you are chatting with a real, live human being, but the responses you get from the other side of the screen do not seem as fluid and engaging as they ought to be. Well, perhaps you are not really chatting with another human being. Perhaps it is a chat bot answering your questions and attempting to solve your problems.
Chat bots are more of a novelty now than anything else, but the goal is not to let them remain as such. The development of chat bots is just the first step in finding new ways to use artificial intelligence in the online world. As such, they tell us quite a bit about mobility and where it is headed.
Here are five things app developer iTexico says chat bots tell us:
1. Artificial Intelligence Is Not Fading
There is no shortage of critics who claim that the demand for artificial intelligence in the mobile arena is fading. They point to the limits of PDAs such as Siri and Alexa as evidence. Yet chat bots are, if nothing else, a rather basic implementation of artificial intelligence. And they are not being developed as toys. The point of the chat bot is to interact with customers online without having to maintain a full staff of helpdesk employees. There is no way the need to reduce labor costs is going to fade, so the chat bot and its artificial intelligence are here to stay.
2. Users Are Okay with It
Just ten years ago, the average consumer was unhappy about having to deal with an automated telephone system when calling the cable company or tech support. The acceptance of modern chat bots suggests that users are warming up to the idea of interacting with technology. In fact, modern web application development is more oriented toward removing the human component than ever before. As long as users are okay with interacting with machines, you can bet app developers will continue exploring ways to make it happen.
3. Support Can Be Automated
The usability of chat bots has clearly demonstrated that it is possible to automate certain aspects of customer support. While automation is not yet at the point of being highly personal, it can be used for basic customer service support functions like booking appointments, taking payments, and helping to troubleshoot common technology problems.
4. Better Voice Recognition Is Necessary
Web application development involving chat bots requires looking at the other end of the communication as well. In other words, how do users input information during online communication sessions? The chat bot of the future will involve users speaking to their mobile devices rather than using virtual keyboards. We already do this, but the current state of voice recognition technology is nowhere near what it needs to be. Thus, chat bots are making it abundantly clear that we need to do better in this arena.
5. A New Stream of Data Is Available
After years of developing games for stationary consoles, there is a tremendous amount of data available to the mobile game app development community for their use. Today’s mobile games would be nothing without the knowledge gleaned from years of studying console games.
In the same way, chat bots open a whole new stream of data that will be used by app developers for years to come. With every chat bot interaction, there is data to be harvested, analyzed, and used to better serve end-users.