Conversational AI platforms are the future

Conversational AI platforms are the future

With emerging technologies it’s possible to talk to our machines the way we communicate with humans today.

There was time when computers had only 640 KB of memory and a whopping 20 MB hard drive. There was no way you could talk to your computer and no luxuries like a CD drive, USB port or the world wide web that puts tons of visual, video and textual information at your fingertips. But today you can talk to voice assistants on your phone and don’t need to type to communicate whether you want to listen to music, play games or watch your favourite videos.

Moving forward, the industry is working on a set of tools that will transform the way the workforce will communicate with machines. They will communicate to machines by either talking to them or through gestures or even facial expressions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gradually getting us there. Computers will learn to understand humans the way they are.

Here are a few interesting facts to consider.

  • More than $1 million of a leading travel company’s hotel bookings took place through their messenger chatbot.
  • The world’s largest social networking site’s messenger has more than 3,00,000 chatbots operating on its platform.
  • 60 million devices of the world’s largest retailer’s virtual assistant are being projected to be lapped up by 2020.

In addition, a leading research organisation prophesied in 2018 that by 2021 early adopter brands that rework their websites to support voice and visual search will increase their digital commerce revenue by 30 per cent. And by 2019 half of the major commercial retailers and companies that have online stores will have redesigned their commerce sites to accommodate voice navigation and voice searches.

The current crop of conversational interfaces is mostly limited to those providing a list of items from which initiating users can select. Many others use a simple Q&A interface to respond to queries consisting of specific keywords. Futuristic conversational interfaces are transforming into Artificially Intelligent Agents that engage humans in natural language—both in corporate and consumer related communication.

If new AI assistants developed are any indication, we’ll soon have robots that will engage with humans the way other humans do. While enterprises have tried all these years to get computers to solve problems or challenges that human beings face, it’s the humans who have had to adjust to the various shortcomings of algorithms or computer systems. These AI assistants are flipping the equation. Robots understand the way humans think and adjust to the way humans respond to situations. This is the next big leap in AI as we are on the verge of producing machines that can fluently converse with humans so that we won’t be able to tell the difference between a human and a robot.

There are new conversational AI platforms that are using Adaptive Analytics to enable corporate stakeholders to use voice commands to ask complex questions to Business Intelligence (BI) interfaces. This enables even casual BI users, who haven’t been trained to use BI systems, to use them effectively.

Photograph: Freepik.com

Tools like these will help a sales manager save time as he doesn’t have to make sense out of mountains of sales data for generating a review report for senior management. He or she would be able to do the same in a few seconds through some intelligent conversational interfaces. This is made possible as the interface will understand the context and intent of the business query by the user and use machine learning, data science, knowledge graph, and cognitive techniques to provide personalised human interaction. The impact of Conversational AI interfaces will depend on how user-friendly and accurate use cases are being rolled out for end consumers and corporates at large.