Developers
June 15, 2020

Chatbot Development: 10 Things You Need to Know

Chatbots have made great strides in recent years and will continue to improve with advancements in artificial intelligence.
Source: Pixabay

Few fields are more exciting as artificial intelligence (AI). AI has captured the imagination for decades, becoming a staple of science fiction. From Star Trek’s Commander Data to Star Wars’ R2-D2, kids, adults and scientists alike have dreamed of interacting with a true, sentient AI.

Chatbots are a step in that direction, providing many people with their first interaction with an AI. As they become more complex, chatbots can be amazingly competent, in some cases even fooling people into believing they’re talking with a real person.

Needless to say, chatbot development is a fast-moving field that can be difficult to keep up with. Here are the top 10 things you should know about it.

Chatbots Are Older Than You Think

When people think of chatbots, they often think of chatbot assistants greeting them when they visit a website. While it’s true that chatbots have only recently seen widespread adoption, their roots trace back decades.

In fact, the first known instance of a chatbot was ELIZA—in 1966. Created by Joseph Weizenbaum, ELIZA was remarkably capable at mimicking a person conversing. In fact, its method of responding to keywords is still the method that many modern chatbots are based on.

Chatbots Gained Fame in 2016, Thanks to Facebook

Facebook introduced the ability to include chatbots in Messenger in 2016. This opened the floodgates of chatbot development, with some 30,000 bots created within the first six months.

Chatbots Are Already Saving Companies Money

Chatbots are an excellent first step in customer service, freeing up personnel to handle more complicated requests. As a result, chatbots can save a company a lot of money, especially when dealing with large-scale operations.

For example, a report by Juniper Research shows that every query a chatbot handles frees up four minutes of an agent’s time, saving $0.70. While $0.70 may not seem like a lot, multiply that over thousands of agents, over dozens of calls per agent, and the savings adds up quickly.

People Like Using Chatbots

While early chatbots may have gotten a bad rap, and tended to be both incompetent and annoying, modern chatbots are quite effective.

According to smallbizgenius, some 27% of people are interested in using an AI support tool. Even more impressive, chatbots have evolved to the point that they can answer roughly 80% of standard questions. What’s more, an estimated 56% of people would rather message than talk with customer service, making chatbots an ideal solution.

Smartphones Have Been a Boon to Chatbots

One of the reasons Facebook’s efforts were so effective is because of the rise of smartphones. As smartphones became the standard, and people’s communication shifted to messaging, it created an opportunity for chatbots to take off.

Some of the best, most used chatbots, are available via smartphones and messaging platforms.

Chatbots Are Getting Smarter

While the first generations of chatbots were largely based on boolean programming, responding based on preset keywords, with the rise of AI chatbots are become more intelligent and powerful.

AI gives chatbots even greater opportunity to serve customers and provide a near-human level of interaction. As part of that, chatbots are delivering increasingly personalized experiences to customers.

In addition, thanks to machine learning (ML) and AI, chatbots can learn and improve over time. The more conversations they have, the more they learn and the better they are able to respond.

Chatbots Benefit From Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing will continue to significantly improve the quality of chatbot interactions. Just as human beings can converse with one another without using specific, predefined words or syntax, natural language processing gives chatbots the ability to understand the intent behind what someone is typing, not just the individual words being typed.

Chatbots Are Gaining Emotional Intelligence

Closely related is emotional intelligence. In addition to understanding the meaning behind requests, emotional intelligence gives chatbots the ability to understand the feelings behind chat.

This can help chatbots respond appropriately when a customer is irritated, sad, angry or frustrated.

Chatbots Can Be Important For Companies’ Internal Communication

While many people think of chatbots as primarily customer-facing, they can be an important part of a company’s internal communication.

They can be used to help onboard employees and provide ongoing assistance via an automated help desk. They can also be used to take surveys and help management stay in touch with what employees are thinking.

Chatbots, and Their Developers, Will Continue to Be In Demand

Because chatbots represent such an important development in customer service, as well as artificial intelligence, the technology will continue to see widespread adoption.

Best of all, as AI and ML continue to develop, chatbots will move squarely into the realm of true AI, leading to better encounters and happier customers.

These trends will combine to make chatbot developers more in demand than ever, providing job security and an exciting career on the forefront of a field once considered purely science fiction.

TagsChatbotDevelopmentAI
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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DevelopersJune 15, 2020
Chatbot Development: 10 Things You Need to Know
Chatbots have made great strides in recent years and will continue to improve with advancements in artificial intelligence.

Few fields are more exciting as artificial intelligence (AI). AI has captured the imagination for decades, becoming a staple of science fiction. From Star Trek’s Commander Data to Star Wars’ R2-D2, kids, adults and scientists alike have dreamed of interacting with a true, sentient AI.

Chatbots are a step in that direction, providing many people with their first interaction with an AI. As they become more complex, chatbots can be amazingly competent, in some cases even fooling people into believing they’re talking with a real person.

Needless to say, chatbot development is a fast-moving field that can be difficult to keep up with. Here are the top 10 things you should know about it.

Chatbots Are Older Than You Think

When people think of chatbots, they often think of chatbot assistants greeting them when they visit a website. While it’s true that chatbots have only recently seen widespread adoption, their roots trace back decades.

In fact, the first known instance of a chatbot was ELIZA—in 1966. Created by Joseph Weizenbaum, ELIZA was remarkably capable at mimicking a person conversing. In fact, its method of responding to keywords is still the method that many modern chatbots are based on.

Chatbots Gained Fame in 2016, Thanks to Facebook

Facebook introduced the ability to include chatbots in Messenger in 2016. This opened the floodgates of chatbot development, with some 30,000 bots created within the first six months.

Chatbots Are Already Saving Companies Money

Chatbots are an excellent first step in customer service, freeing up personnel to handle more complicated requests. As a result, chatbots can save a company a lot of money, especially when dealing with large-scale operations.

For example, a report by Juniper Research shows that every query a chatbot handles frees up four minutes of an agent’s time, saving $0.70. While $0.70 may not seem like a lot, multiply that over thousands of agents, over dozens of calls per agent, and the savings adds up quickly.

People Like Using Chatbots

While early chatbots may have gotten a bad rap, and tended to be both incompetent and annoying, modern chatbots are quite effective.

According to smallbizgenius, some 27% of people are interested in using an AI support tool. Even more impressive, chatbots have evolved to the point that they can answer roughly 80% of standard questions. What’s more, an estimated 56% of people would rather message than talk with customer service, making chatbots an ideal solution.

Smartphones Have Been a Boon to Chatbots

One of the reasons Facebook’s efforts were so effective is because of the rise of smartphones. As smartphones became the standard, and people’s communication shifted to messaging, it created an opportunity for chatbots to take off.

Some of the best, most used chatbots, are available via smartphones and messaging platforms.

Chatbots Are Getting Smarter

While the first generations of chatbots were largely based on boolean programming, responding based on preset keywords, with the rise of AI chatbots are become more intelligent and powerful.

AI gives chatbots even greater opportunity to serve customers and provide a near-human level of interaction. As part of that, chatbots are delivering increasingly personalized experiences to customers.

In addition, thanks to machine learning (ML) and AI, chatbots can learn and improve over time. The more conversations they have, the more they learn and the better they are able to respond.

Chatbots Benefit From Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing will continue to significantly improve the quality of chatbot interactions. Just as human beings can converse with one another without using specific, predefined words or syntax, natural language processing gives chatbots the ability to understand the intent behind what someone is typing, not just the individual words being typed.

Chatbots Are Gaining Emotional Intelligence

Closely related is emotional intelligence. In addition to understanding the meaning behind requests, emotional intelligence gives chatbots the ability to understand the feelings behind chat.

This can help chatbots respond appropriately when a customer is irritated, sad, angry or frustrated.

Chatbots Can Be Important For Companies’ Internal Communication

While many people think of chatbots as primarily customer-facing, they can be an important part of a company’s internal communication.

They can be used to help onboard employees and provide ongoing assistance via an automated help desk. They can also be used to take surveys and help management stay in touch with what employees are thinking.

Chatbots, and Their Developers, Will Continue to Be In Demand

Because chatbots represent such an important development in customer service, as well as artificial intelligence, the technology will continue to see widespread adoption.

Best of all, as AI and ML continue to develop, chatbots will move squarely into the realm of true AI, leading to better encounters and happier customers.

These trends will combine to make chatbot developers more in demand than ever, providing job security and an exciting career on the forefront of a field once considered purely science fiction.

Chatbot
Development
AI
About the author
Matt Milano -Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

Related Articles