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The Rise of the Chatbot and How It Can Enhance Your Customer Support Team

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By Michael Deane

A key element of customer satisfaction is customer support. Providing a customer journey that’s both effortless and entertaining but also comprises great support in case of queries or problems is a huge part of creating brand loyalty. You’re undoubtedly thinking that’s far easier said than done. Where do smaller companies find the resources necessary to have round-the-clock customer support teams? How about the larger ones, who receive thousands of messages per day across several different platforms?

The answer is simple: bots

Research institute Gartner forecasts that by 2020, people will have more conversations per day with a bot than they do with their significant other, and customer support is one domain where chatbots truly come into their own. Read on to find out why chatbots will take your customer support team to another level:

It’s a bit of a cliché, but one that holds a lot of truth: your customers are the biggest ambassadors for your brand. Happy customers are loyal customers, and when you take into account that a returning customer is worth five times more than a new one, it makes sense to work on retaining them. Not only do unsatisfied clients tend not to come back, but they can also make a lot of noise about why they’re not happy, which is a situation you’d obviously rather avoid.

1. Publishing your Chatbot on Microsoft Teams

2. 🤖 How to talk to Computers: A Framework for building Conversational Agents — Part 1

3. Sentiment Analysis Voice Bot

4. Top 5 NLP Chatbot Platforms

A stat that’s making the rounds is that by 2020, customer experience will become more important than price and product from the consumers’ point of view. Things have moved on a lot since the days when customer support meant calling a hotline and gritting your teeth to the sound of tinny muzak while your phone bill mounted.

Based on a recent study by Twilio, 66% of consumers prefer to interact with brands through messaging platforms (mainly the ones they’re using already, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Viber) over any other medium. And with billions of people across the planet using messaging apps on a daily basis, it makes sense to interact with customers using channels they know and love.

Customers expect swift and efficient support, but according to Telegraph, almost 90% of messages requiring a response are ignored by companies. Customers that do end up getting some kind of response have to wait an average of ten hours, while they reckon that should be around four. Responding to customers in a timely fashion can be a major challenge for small businesses and start-ups, who don’t have experienced teams working round the clock to solve customer issues as they arrive, and a big investment even for larger companies. This is one of the major reasons it makes sense to bring in the chatbots. Unlike their human counterparts, customer support chatbots don’t need 8 hours of sleep a night and can give consumers the answers they need with little to no wait time. What’s more, customers don’t even have to leave the apps they use every day, as many chatbots integrate with the aforementioned messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp.

With traditional customer support, companies sit back and wait for the customer to come to them, meaning that customer interactions are mostly passive and centered around issues and problems encountered. As you will have noticed, chatbots take a more proactive approach by being quick to leap in as soon as a customer arrives on a homepage, asking what they’re looking for and if they can be of any help. Advances in Natural language processing (NLP) mean that talking to a bot is no longer the slightly surreal and potentially frustrating experience it used to be: conversing with chatbots nowadays is very much like talking to a human agent — only faster. And while human customer support agents are well, only human, bots never get tired, frustrated, or lose their patience.

Bots can kickstart the conversation, pointing customers in the right direction, guiding them through the payment process and following-up post-sale by letting them know about useful tutorials to help them out with a recent purchase and asking questions about their experience, thus replacing the traditional satisfaction survey and helping you build even better customer journeys in the future.

As in many fields that are currently seeing huge developments thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the rise of chatbots in customer support is raising questions about human agents eventually seeing their jobs taken over by robots. This is however far from being the case. Chatbots aren’t set to replace customer service representatives, but rather take care of a lot of the grunt work and help them do their jobs more efficiently, in better conditions and with a more satisfying result for the user.

Chatbots are just like human agents in that they learn on the job and improve as they go along. AI-powered chatbots can gather and analyse cross-channel data from a wide variety of sources, including previous conversations with the customer, social media profiles, web searches and interactions with your website. This enables them to personalise their responses to and improve them with every customer interaction while providing agents with essential analysis grounded in previous conversations and similar use cases.

Unlike human agents, chatbots aren’t able to handle situations that require in-depth analysis or diplomacy (yet. We’ll get there someday). What they are great at is taking the weight off customer support teams by welcoming customers and reassuring them that their issue is being addressed, before responding to simpler requests and filtering the more complex ones towards a customer service representative. The benefits are obvious: agents no longer have their time taken up by routine questions and can focus on bigger, more complex tasks that require advanced problem-solving skills.

In conclusion, customer support chatbots are a great investment for any company, big or small, seeking to give their customer service representatives they help they need to smooth the customer experience journey and boost brand loyalty while they’re about it. What’s not to love?

Source: https://chatbotslife.com/the-rise-of-the-chatbot-and-how-it-can-enhance-your-customer-support-team-5038f7335a98?source=rss—-a49517e4c30b—4

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Cartoon: Cloud Dating

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Cartoon: Cloud Dating

New KDnuggets cartoon looks at how AI can transform love and romance.


New KDnuggets cartoon gives you a respite from the virus and politics and issues of the day, and looks at how AI can transform love and romance.

Cartoon: Cloud Dating

A Scientist:

Our AI has come up with “Dating in the cloud”. It scans your social media posts and comes up with a great profile for you, automatically inflating your resume and making you more attractive. And no need to decie who pays for the meal!”

Here are other
KDnuggets AI, Big Data, Data Science, and Machine Learning Cartoons
.

and KDnuggets posts tagged
cartoon.

See also other recent KDnuggets Cartoons:

Source: https://www.kdnuggets.com/2020/10/cartoon-cloud-dating.html

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How AI Revolutionize the Way Video Games Developed and Played

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Artificial intelligence is simplifying our lives and changing the way we perform everyday tasks. An AI revolution has already taken place in many industries, like healthcare and marketing. But is it going to affect the future of video games as well? The simple answer is yes.

“Although AI has been an important part of video games since their birth in the ’50s, it’s only lately developed to a point where it can be used to control complex characters.” 

The technology can now process information from players and make the environment more suitable for their needs.  And what can we expect for video games in the future? Can we soon see self-thinking characters with complex countertactics in first-person shooter games? Or all the human staff replaced by robots in online websites with games like Eye of Horus? Let’s take a closer look at how exactly artificial intelligence will revolutionize the gaming industry. Ready?

Will Video Games Get Smarter?

To be honest, there hasn’t been a radical change in how AI governs the behaviour of various virtual entities or powers the procedural generation. AI’s most important components are still pathfinding and finite state machines.

Pathfinding is basically getting from one point to another in the simplest way, and it’s used in all games. And a finite state machine is built for non-playable characters (NPCs), and it allows them to change between different states.

However, some new video games are now also using behaviour and decision trees that have become more sophisticated recently. And although most developers are operating with the same basic concepts (pathfinding and finite-state), they can utilize them on bigger scales thanks to higher processing powers in 2020. 

Games Will Become More Adaptable to Smartphones

A gaming console is not the only equipment to play games on. A smartphone offers the unique possibility to play on the go, so it has become an increasingly popular option for gaming. And since the processing power of mobile phones grows every year, the games for these devices keep getting better and more immersive. 

However, video game fans still need a PC or a console to play the latest games since the weaker filling is not enough to enable mobile platforms to run them. But here’s where AI comes to play.

Every mobile game developer who creates new video games for smartphones is constantly coming up with new AI algorithms and the games keep getting smarter. Looking at mobile games only 3 years ago, we can see immense improvements. Let’s take a look at some key improvements in games made possible by advanced AI. 

Environments Are Getting More Authentic

Everyone’s probably noticed that video games are getting more realistic every year. The environments get more responsive and richer in detail. And that’s all thanks to AI. Using machine learning, AI can respond to any actions a player takes in the game more accurately. AI itself can generate environments that predict your expectations.

For example, the scripted plots that follow only one possible sequence of events are hardly present in any modern game. Instead, it’s up to the player’s decision on which direction the game takes. The plot has many possible directions. This means that you can play the game many times, and the scenario will always be fresh.

However, surprisingly enough, a powerful AI might not provide the most fun gaming experience. Because here’s the thing: if AI gets too unpredictable, the non-player characters it leads can start to direct the players to unnecessary routes. To places that lead to nowhere. It may be a fun experiment, but ultimately players are loving gaming because of the thrill of advancing to the next level. So most probably

AI in games will keep getting more intelligent to interact with players more convincingly. But it will still be completely controlled to keep everything on track. 

Improved Visuals 

The video graphics in modern games are so good that sometimes you can even mix your sense of what’s virtual and what’s reality. This has obviously not been achieved overnight. It’s made possible by hundreds of developers constantly working on new solutions. But we can hope AI to considerably accelerate the process by automating it.

Maybe in the future, we can have software that generates a game environment by scanning real cities. Just imagine having battles with zombies on the streets of your own hometown. 

Conclusion

In the future, we can expect more advanced AI in games making the non-player characters react to your actions with more variety. In first-person shooter games, NPCs can soon make more decisions and coordinate tactical attacks against the player. We can also expect more automized gaming sites. 

And AI is not only powering the characters and scenarios in games. It’s also put to work to develop games faster and cheaper than ever before. And that’s all revolutionary in the gaming business. Are you ready for it?

How do you think video games will look like in the future? Completely powered by AI? Leave comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

                                                           — Thomas Glare endeavoured to explore the world of tech and is currently in his master’s program of Cyber Security who loves to create slot machine games for android.

Also, Read Inspiring AI Tech’s that Transformed Digital World

Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/artificial-intelligence/how-ai-revolutionize-the-way-video-games-developed-and-played/

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Internet of Things Impact in 2021

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The internet of things — smart devices that connect to the internet to share and receive data — is probably one of the biggest tech success stories of the past 10 years. 

While most consumers know about IoT from consumer-oriented smart devices — like home assistants and security systems — the tech is also vital to many industries. From remote patient monitors to technology that collects factory data and controls massive industrial machinery, sending information over the internet has major benefits for all types of companies.

“The IoT revolution isn’t done yet. 2021 is likely to be another big year for it. We may soon see some of the biggest changes to date as developers find new ways to apply the tech to other industries.” 

Based on the IoT industry’s current momentum and direction, these eight changes are some of the most likely to happen next year.

1. New, More Interoperable Smart Home Devices

As the range of smart home devices grows, interoperability — having tools from different developers that can “talk” with each other — will become much more important.

Manufacturers of IoT devices are making communication between them a key design consideration. It may soon be more normal to coordinate devices from a handful of developers rather than depend on all-in-one solutions that manage your home environment or provide extra security. Instead, smart homeowners may be able to string together complex IoT tech systems, customizing based on their needs and preferences.

2. Adoption of IoT Will Be Almost Universal

According to a new report from Microsoft, 91% of global businesses have adopted IoT technology, up from 85% the year before. The same report showed that more than half of all companies plan to invest even more in IoT technology going forward.

The growing range of IoT solutions — from office management tech to new maintenance tools — means that any business can benefit from IoT tech regardless of industry. 

In 2021, it could be unusual to work with a company that doesn’t use the internet of things in one way or another. By the end of that year, we may see something close to 100% adoption of IoT.

3. 5G and Edge Computing Will Make Near-Real-Time Analysis Possible

After a slow rollout in 2019, major carriers are beginning to deliver 5G coverage on a national scale.

The speed of 5G, plus edge computing tech — which establishes nodes on the edge of the network that can be used for simple calculations — may make close-to-real time analytics in IoT devices possible. This ultra-fast communication will make the technology like driverless cars and real-time industrial sensors more practical going forward.

4. Hospitals Will Adopt a Range of IoT Tech

Over the past few years, developers have started to create various IoT devices for health care professionals. These devices — like internet-connected patient monitors or health-tracking wearables — make it easy for doctors and hospital staff to track a patient’s health, no matter where they are in the building. This could help staff check up on people across floors from one workstation or respond faster to a health crisis.

Shortly, real-time location systems for health care, which allow hospitals to track patients, manage assets and ensure compliance, may become central to the industry. At the least, it could become another valuable tool for health care professionals.

5. Cybersecurity Will Become a Serious Concern

As IoT devices proliferate, they’ll also become a bigger target for hackers. IoT security has improved significantly in the past few years, but they remain uniquely vulnerable to attacks. These safety risks make IoT devices a major opportunity for hackers wanting to break into a secure home or business network.

For developers and companies using IoT devices, keeping IoT tech secure will become critical. Investment in cybersecurity technology will likely grow to levels higher than anything we’ve seen so far.

6. Big-Name Retailers Will Implement Smart Store Technology

Following the semi-successful launch of Amazon’s line of cashier-less stores, Amazon Go, retailers have started to invest more in smart technology for their brick-and-mortar locations.

There are smart shelves, for example, outfitted with weight sensors and cameras to detect when products have run out. Similar tech can automatically check if there are carts that need to be pulled in or customers waiting to check out.

The data from these devices, coupled with AI-powered analytics, may make retail management more efficient. Right now, the tech is still experimental — but a few brands, like Walmart, are already testing smart store management at a few locations.

7. Predictive Maintenance Will Remain Key for Heavy Industry

Predictive maintenance is one of the more practical applications of the internet of things, and a decent number of industrial businesses already use it. The owner of heavy machinery or industrial infrastructure — like a robot arm, transformer or earth-mover — installs special sensors on certain pieces of high-value equipment. 

These sensors gather data on operational characteristics, like vibration, sound or temperature. Over time, this data analysis can give owners a heads-up when equipment is behaving unusually — a sign that it may need emergency maintenance or repairs.

The predictive maintenance market has grown fast over the past few years, and industry analysts estimate it will be worth more than $12 billion by 2025 — up from just $4 billion in 2020. 2021 will probably be a key year for the industry — one where we’ll see continued adoption of predictive maintenance tools and platforms.

8. Self-Driving Car Tests Will Ramp Up

More companies are getting involved in self-driving vehicles in one way or another. Ride-sharing companies, Big Tech businesses and logistics experts are all invested in making vehicles that can drive themselves.

Demand for self-driving cars, as well as other issues — like the ongoing shortage of truck drivers — will likely push companies to expand their tests in 2021. These vehicles still need some serious testing, and its likely tests won’t be done for a while. However, some of those experimental autonomous cars could be on the road by the end of 2021. 

How the IoT Could Reshape Businesses in 2021

The internet of things is likely to continue having a major influence on the economy through next year. New IoT devices, plus supporting techs like 5G and edge computing, mean that just about any business, regardless of industry, will be able to take advantage of what these tools can offer. 

Consumers are also likely to see big benefits as well. While self-driving cars aren’t expected to hit the market until later in the decade, other consumer IoT devices will probably become much more user-friendly. For smart home fanatics who want to outfit their living space with gadgets that can adjust the temperature, dim lights and keep an eye on the front porch, big changes to interoperability will make life better than ever.

Also, Read Future of IoT Devices

Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/internet-of-things/impact-of-iot/

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