What is the future of chatbots? As the Chief Product Officer of an AI bot-building platform, I get this question a lot, and there are many ways to answer it. As a company, I think we can only answer this question if we know where we are planning to go. Which goal are we aiming for?
Chatlayer’s mission is to make it possible for everyone to have a personal conversation at any time. Let’s break that down.
First of all, we’re talking about conversations. Humankind has made tremendous progress in communication and information technology. But when you strip away all that innovation, at its core, conversations haven’t really changed all that much. It’s still an exchange of information between people. When you really think about it, me sending a WhatsApp message to my brother in Australia isn’t all that different from a prehistoric human shouting from one end of the cave to the other. With conversational AI, we’re slightly changing that model. Information can now be exchanged with a bot instead of another person.
Because conversations are so intrinsically human, we believe they are valuable and the best way of getting information and knowledge across — now, and in the future.
But a conversation alone is not enough, we’ve been having those since the beginning of time really. What’s important is that everyone should be able to have that conversation and get the information they need. Chatlayer has invested in a multi-lingual model, allowing people from around the world to be served in 125+ languages today. That’s a great first step, but there’s always room for improvement. There are still minority languages we want to be able to support. It should be easier for those who aren’t as digitally well-versed to use bots. Not everybody has access to the internet all the time, the conversation should be able to continue even without network bars.
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This is the first big change I expect to happen: a conversation for everyone will mean truly everyone. Your level of technological access will no longer determine how easy it is for you to get the benefits of having a conversation.
We’ve talked about conversations, and how they should be available to everyone at any time. The last part of our mission is to make them personal. That’s where the biggest challenge lies, and where there’s the most room to grow. Too many of the bot conversations happening today follow a strict script and can’t really deal with unforeseen answers.
Already in 2021, Chatlayer is introducing a completely new way of building your bot. The bot will learn on its own from conversations taking place between a customer and an agent. The bot will suggest responses to the agent, based on the context of the conversation. In turn, the agent will select the right response, giving the bot a little bit more insight into what is a good answer and what is not. Across thousands of interactions in thousands of conversations, that gives an AI model enough data to start generating a bot that has a much deeper understanding of how a natural conversation actually happens, which dramatically increases the quality of the bot. At Chatlayer, we call this new approach conversation-driven bot building, the second big change in the chatbot landscape.
Making conversations personal has another dimension as well. I remember as a kid, I could not make sense of some of the math theories a teacher was trying to explain to me. But later that day, when I asked my father for help, I understood it after just a few minutes. Everybody processes information in a unique way, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Imagine a bot that can pick up on subtle queues in your voice or facial expressions, and by relying on a treasure trove of data, get its message across in a way that makes total sense to you, and only you. We’re already taking steps in this direction by automatically analysing emotions and sending customised messages to specific customer segments. The third and final big change in chatbots will be much more granular personalisation.
So, what is the future of chatbots? The true answer to that question is, in the end, that it depends on where Chatlayer, companies like us, and our customers set their sights on. It will take some time and a tremendous amount of effort to reach the future of Conversational AI, but, if we play our cards right, it will truly be an extension to one of the core aspects of humanity. I hope you will join us on our journey into that future.
Chatlayer.ai Chief Product Officer
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The Future of Chatbots was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.