Bot technology is changing the world by bringing in automation in every realm of life, and quite literally. One of the most recent, and probably most popular among the innovations in this field of technology is the birth of chatbots, also referred to as bots or virtual assistants. These bots simply interact with people in a ‘human-like’ way.
For example, you can order your morning coffee or pizza through a chatbot.
A chatbot works based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies.
What is bot technology?
It is a type of technology where a ‘bot’ or a ‘robot’ performs a set of automatic tasks based on a given list of commands. Bots basically run and function based on certain software programs.
Simply put, a bot is a type of AI technology which can complete a task without the need for any type of human intervention.
What is an internet bot?
- A web bot, also commonly referred to as internet bot, is an application that is programmed to carry out tasks
- They execute simple, complex and repetitive tasks
- Bots may perform web crawling duties, which means it reads information on web servers
- Bots are also likely to be used to interact with humans on service-based websites
How bot technology can benefit businesses?
There are a great number of advantages that bots can offer to businesses in today’s market environment. Let us take a look at the befits one by one:
#1 Better customer service: A chatbot will be available to solve a customer query at any given point of time – day or night. This means that there is 24/7 availability, which is hard for a human to offer.
How will this help:
- Customers will be better served and will not leave the website frustrated
- If customers are happy, sales are bound to increase, thereby increasing profits
- There will be an overall increase in customer base
#2 Helps businesses save on cost: A chatbot is much more economical than hiring an additional set of workers. In the long run, this will help an organization save a lot of money and cut back on operating costs.
#3 Large scale operation: Bot technology will help a business handle a number of requests simultaneously. This will surely eliminate the need to put customers on hold for a long period of time. Instead, customers will receive an immediate reply.
#4 Data insights: The data and information that is collected through chat-based interactions will be stored and this can be mined for future business use.
Basics of bot technology
Are you planning to develop a bot? Or want to know what bot technology is all about? Whatever be the reason, read on for more information.
A brief history
Robotics and bot technology gained was around as early as the late 1960s. The ‘first-known’ bot or robot, was invented by scientist Joseph Weizenbaum. The robot was named ‘Eliza’ and it could imitate conversations. Eliza was used for conducting talk therapy in the field of psychology. It was believed that Eliza’s talk therapy was liked by many who attended the session. This made many psychologists than about the effectiveness of robotics.
By 1971, Kenneth Colby, a psychiatrist, explored the possibility of a robot that could replicate the behavioral and language patterns of schizophrenic patients. This led him to invent ‘Parry’, which was used by him to teach students of psychology. Parry turned out to be a very good example of typical paranoid schizophrenic behavior. Over the course of time, in an experimental session, Eliza took robot Parry as a patient. This created a wave of popularity about robots. Soon after many scientists and computer engineers began to ponder over the potential use of bots.
Over the next few decades, many bots were created:
Soon, smartphones were introduced and this was one of the platforms that helped build one among the first voice commanded and multifunctional bots – Siri. This was followed suit by other such assistants such as Amazon Alexa.
Today, the possible use of bots in medicine and mental health are being tested. Apart from this, chatbots have also become a common feature on many websites and apps. This is especially true in the case of e-commerce websites.
For example, if you are shopping online and are looking for something particular, you can chat with the web-based chatbot. The chat may look something like this:
Human: I would like to buy an orange shirt. Can you please tell me how I can find the right size?
Bot: We have all size options and you can choose from the drop-down menu.
Human: Where do I find the drop-down menu
Bot: You can find it below each of the shirt images
How to build the best chatbot?
- Set clear goals: The first step is to lay down and clearly define how you want the bot to be. Answer questions like what your focus area is going to be and how you’re going to take things forward.
- Select the right platform: A chatbot needs to be customized as per the platform it is going to run on. A bot needs to be programmed as per these specifications.
- Figure out the content: A good content strategy is another important factor to consider when you are in the process of crafting the best app. This includes marketing and sales efforts, and also customer service.
- Choose and shape the bot’s personality: Every bot has its own unique identity and personality that will set it apart from the other bots in the market. So, do your best when you are giving your bot its personality.
In the beginning, the very concept of a chatbot may be a little intimidating but the fact of the matter is that they make our lives much much easier. They can be used to free employees of the burden of mundane and repetitive tasks, giving them more time to focus on crucial matters at hand.