Chatbots have recently hit messaging platforms, introducing a new approach to conversational interaction to get a service instead of using a standard menu screen on a mobile phone. The goal of chatbots is to automate those tasks that humans usually do and become a cost-effective solution.
The technology that tries to simulate communication between a machine and a human being has already existed for at least 50 years. But this new implementation is of particular interest since it concerns engagement of millions people globally to help solve their needs.
The concept that embraces chatbots lies in requesting information and getting a quick response in a text format that would be most natural for a user, as if talking to a friend. Messenger bots are software agents intelligent enough to understand what an individual is requesting and can provide appropriate answers or perform requested actions.
Unlike mobile apps, bots provide information, product purchases and services in a text format through a messenger, so a user doesn’t have to open and run a separate application.
Chatbot software represents both solutions that deliver automated answers to simple questions and artificial intelligence programs that learn about a user and gradually learn to adjust their answers to a user’s preferences. Machine learning chatbots are already regarded at as an effective targeted advertising tool that will engage social media users into dialoging with independent service-providers and brands.
Bots provide information through a messenger, so a user doesn’t have to open and run a separate application
Messenger platforms have been selected as a natural environment for chatbots since around 1.9 billion individuals around the world are using messaging apps on a daily basis. The number of users continues to grow. Also, unlike mobile apps that get easily deleted from a phone, well-known messaging apps manage to keep users’ interest strong.
In a messenger, bots are displayed on a list of a user’s contacts. To ask for a service while chatting, a user only has to initiate a direct dialogue with a bot.
Chat platforms have been chosen as an environment for bots because the number of messenger app users is growing.
Currently, chatbots are associated with Facebook and Microsoft, who are looking to present users with a new mobile experience through messengers. Facebook, with its 900 million messenger users, has also started working on the development of an AI bot that will learn about an individual’s likes and preferences and will store memory about a previous conversation.
Chatbots are a promising technology trend, which has been recently introduced to the global community. We still have to discover where bot services would become most valuable. There have been multiple discussions about bots taking over mobile apps. But experts say the replacement will only happen if chatbots are popular with enough with users that mobile apps become secondary for certain applications.
One of the possible scenarios of technology development is integrating a chatbot into mobile apps to make a mobile app more useful (e.g., making payments with the bot’s help).
Also, it should be noted that there are certain business areas where mobile apps do not perform 100% effectively. Mostly, these relate to communication and can be substituted by bots (transfers, games, site traffic data collection, chat statistics and translators).
Chatbots will have commercial value if they guarantee time-saving solutions, help make Internet search faster and better than ordinary Google search or can become a powerful shopping assistant.