The Growing importance of Chatbots in our Lives

Chatbots are appearing in more and more facets of our day to day lives, and if the latest industry surveys are to be believed, we just can’t get enough of them. In the world of 2019, patience is no longer a virtue, and more than two thirds of consumers favour chatbots because they provide the quickest solutions to their problems. When asked why they would use a chatbot, the most common answer was that it will provide a speedy response.

In years gone by, chatbots had a reputation for answering every question except the one you were answering – remember Clippy from those old versions of MS Word? Despite being universally despised, he was the precursor to the modern chatbot, and with the advances in natural language processing and machine learning, the gap between talking to real online support and a bot is becoming increasingly narrow.

A richer gaming experience

The rise of the bots is being seen across a growing number of sectors. A prime example is in the gaming industry, which has been growing exponentially over recent years. This is particularly so in the mobile sector, where games like live blackjack and roulette are taking over the online casino space. Improved quality has played its role in this growth, but ease of access has also been a key element of success. Now, chatbots are playing an increasing role in sharing new gaming opportunities and delivering a variety of new player services, including managing teams, moderating chat and even telling jokes.

Smoothing the buying process

The global share of ecommerce in the retail market continues to grow year on year, but one weakness compared to visiting a physical shop is the ability to chat with sales staff to get some help making a purchasing choice. Apps like Operator provide a virtual assistant that will do the legwork, helping connect the right buyers with the right sellers. For example, suppose you are looking to find the best guitar for a ten-year-old aspiring rock star. The buyer needs only to tell the bot these basics and it will get to work reaching out to the best suppliers. The final recommendations will still come from a human advisor, but the bot takes care of the repetitive legwork of making those initial connections, resulting in a better user experience for the client and more productive use of the human advisor’s time.

A virtual doctor?

AI and machine learning is already proving its worth in the medical sector behind the scenes, but bots are now starting to bring this technology directly to patients. Apps like Babylon Health seek to place a virtual doctor in everyone’s hand. Its chat-oriented interface provides a simple way for users to describe their symptoms and receive instant and accurate medical advice 24/7. This kind of chatbot can provide far more tailored responses than, for example, typing a query into Google. It asks a specific series of questions and builds its diagnoses from each response. Of course, this sort of app cannot replace a human doctor, but what it achieves is a highly accurate virtual triage system that will connect patients with the most appropriate medical support.

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