A year and a half ago, Corona days just started. It was clear that the people will spend much more time in front of their computers, than before. The reason: people were forced to interact with the outer world via the Internet. Consequence: the need for people on the other side of the communication channel increased at the same rate. But, did the companies have needed people? No. Consequence: so many websites appeared with automated chatbots. At some point in time, they became tedious and even invasive.
Now: was the tech world prepared for such a situation? No. To properly make a functional automated chatbot, you need tech personnel appropriately trained in AI and NLP areas. Did the world have them enough? No.
The techies quickly found a way to implement a reliable automated chatbot. All the possible user interaction was limited to push the buttons provided on the screen. Quite dumb, but a functional solution.
The other approach that looks not that dummy needed a much more sophisticated approach: NLP.
Why? “Simply” because of:
- Automated intent detection, and
- Automated entity recognition
Both of them are not that trivial NLP tasks. You need a person trained in this highly specialized IT job.
Of course, you didn’t have to implement it from scratch. There were, and already are, specialized cloud offerings from Google and Microsoft, at least. That approach works quite well for you if you know that you might send quite sensitive customer data up there into the clouds, and of course, you are okay with that. And yes, you still have to be aware of the terms of intent detection and entity recognition, no matter the wordings the sellers are using to sell their product to you.
There are few possibilities for the rest of the IT guys to implement automated chatbots hosted on their premises. A fantastic Rasa chatbot framework is one such. As expected, the options are not that user-friendly as the cloud-based ones. In both versions: cloud-based and on-premises solutions, “all” you had to have are several gues trained in NLP. Otherwise, you are lost in the translation of the NLP to the “common-sense” guys without a proper NLP background.
Now, up to the point of the whole story above: what do you think, how much time passed between the appearance of the Coronavirus, and the massive adoption of the chatbots, literally everywhere?
It took six months!
In six months:
- Most of the websites had automated chatbots implemented. At least, there were “smart” enough to tell, “Hi, nice to have you on our site, please be patient until we have an operator available or leave an email, and you’ll be contacted”. Not too bright, but reliable. Better than not having this.
- The chatbot market became oversaturated. The number of platforms providing chatbots increased by 3-digit percent, and the number of AI startups offering consultancy for implementing chatbots. FYI, 90% of the AI-related startups are related to the consultancy business.
But, this became too workforce demanding. Simply said, too many people are involved in creating and managing automated chatbots.
- starting point: you have a website that you want to become chatbot-enabled
- In the middle: you don’t want to be too much involved in the technicalities. Which is quite normal: what is in such a high demand should be one-click implemented.
So, how to reach the ending state of having a chatbot website, starting from the previous middle?
That’s an easy one:
- Go to https://getconversiobot.com/
- Create an account there
- Choose a template from already provided 100+ ready-made chatbots
- Woilla: you have not-that-dummy automated chatbot implementation on your site. Congratulations!
Finally: The moral of the story: guys, these are hyper-productive days in IT, forced by the ongoing digitalization acceleration on unobserved levels, literally speaking everywhere. So: if you have an idea for a business opportunity somewhere, hurry up.
In six months, the market might be (or more precise: will be) a pretty different manifold for maneuvers.
Adapt in time or give up on innovation/adaptation and leave it to the players who don’t hesitate to jump on the wave that you have to be blind not to observe it.
Cheers, and enjoy these hot summer days.