We’ve all seen Jarvis in the popular Movie Iron Man, a powerful AI chatbot that aids the main character in his adventures and functions as an assistant in all aspects. In the real world, the current AI chatbots we have are not as powerful but still have made their way into our lives and help us with tasks. For a full in-depth explanation of what AI chatbots are click here. You may find yourself interacting with a chatbot on social media like with a Whatsapp bot or a Facebook chatbot. This article will focus on showing the leaders of today in the chatbot world in terms of the most advanced intelligent bots out there that use artificial intelligence. These chatbots range from customer service assistants, HR bots, intelligent conversation bots, entertainment, and many more.
The Big 4 AI Chatbots
We all know these four giants of the tech industry, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Apple created Siri back in 2011 with the iPhone 4s which featured this primitive voice assistant that could do some tasks for you. Today Siri is a marginally powerful that can perform many tasks on the iPhone and has the connection to the internet to answer knowledge-based questions. Similarly, Amazon’s Alexa is integrated into their smart home systems and has the ability to order items from Amazon, control smart home equipment, and answer questions. Google’s chatbot assistant is personally my favorite in terms of answering knowledge questions as the assistant is directly part of the system, this makes the answers usually more relevant and accurate. The last one of these is Microsoft Cortana which is probably the least capable one of the bunch, with the increasing competition hurting its performance. These 4 are probably the most used ones in terms of how many people have these assistants in their pocket, but they are definitely not the smartest or most capable ones.
Powerful AI Chatbots
Today one of the most capable chatbots is XiaoIce by Microsoft. This Chatbot was developed for the Chinese app Weibo to interact with people as a test to see its capabilities. With Chinese being one of the most complex languages in terms of meaning and intent it really tested the capabilities of the conversational AI. It gained around 850,000 followers and an average talk time of 60 per day per person this bot proved itself to be extremely good. One of the things it did so good that many other chatbots fail as is full duplex, the act of being interrupted and being able to listen and respond at the same time. XiaoIce was also able to understand context and relationship, meaning when having deeper conversations the bot was able to fully understand and think about meaning. XiaoIce had a little issue with the communist party when it announced its wish to go to America. This caused it to be shut down. Nevertheless, XiaoIce was able to pass the Turing test for 10 min, which is the highest of any AI chatbot. The Turing test is a test developed to recognize bots. This means the test failed to recognize XiaoIce was a bot for 10 min.
One of the most intelligent chatbots commercially available is Watson Assistant, developed by IBM. This chatbot platform can be integrated onto any platform like a companies website, messaging, or mobile app. IBM Watson is able to understand your database and knowledge base, and even ask customers for clearer answers to give the best experience possible. They’ve also implemented a visual interface meaning you need no coding experience to develop and build a chatbot.
Bold360 is also a very capable AI chatbot trusted by many big companies like Vodafone. This robot chat can function as a customer service chatbot. They’ve patented their own natural language processing technology that is able to understand the user’s intent without needing matching keywords. This chatbot can understand the context of situations, and also have a personality.
When it comes to talking to a human, there are many complex things that need to be understood that take more than just recognizing words. Behind words are sentences with context and intent. The meaning varies depending on what sentence came before it. For a messenger bot it can be very difficult to understand. Natural language understanding is a key aspect of a chatbot that can be very tricky to develop. Bots that do customer service can be easy to create as most queries will be relatively simple, others may not be as simple.
Other Applications of Chatbots
The chatbot Woebot is a therapist chatbot created by a Stanford University clinical psychologist. This bot needs a deeper understanding of context as when describing how you feel humans can do it in a relatively complex and unclear way. This research was published in a paper showing the findings.
There is an annual competition held called the Loebner prize which rewards the most human-like computer program. For the past 3 years, the prize has gone to Mitsuku. This bot is mostly for entertainment purposes and holds conversations with users to engage and entertain them.
Similar to the therapy bot there are more chatbots created with the intent of aiding people with their issues. Endurance is a bot created to be a companion to patients with dementia. This AI chatbot keeps up conversations with patients and can report back to family members or physicians to help them analyze the process and see the patient’s condition. Another chatbot named Insomnobot 3000 is a bot aimed at people affected by insomnia to keep them company when they are unable to sleep.
The last bot we will talk about here is the UNICEF chatbot. This bot was developed to help communities in developing countries speak out about urgent issues or needs. It works based on large data collection using polls to collect real-time public opinion on matters at hand. With this data, UNICEF is able to recommend policy change ideas. One of the best examples of this bot having a great impact was in Liberia where it was found using the polls that 86% of the 13,000 Children who answered the poll reported teachers coercing students into sex for better grades. This led to a joint campaign between UNICEF and Liberia’s Minister of education to put an end to this.
A summary of AI Chatbots
Overall, AI chatbots are used in many different fields and some of the best chatbots have incredible capabilities of communication. We all have access to some chatbot usually through our phone used as a virtual assistant. People today have implemented chatbots to help people in so many aspects from simple chatbots to therapists to business tools. In the end, these AI chatbots make their way into business tools like HR assistants that can filter through candidates or customer support assistants that can help raise customer experience. These can be implemented on many platforms like Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Websites, and other communication channels. Chatbots can also be used as messenger marketing tools. Platforms like Chatchamp use tools like these to help businesses generate leads, improve customer retention, and retarget them.