Chatbots are an exciting technology that offers businesses across a wide variety of industries unique solutions for interacting with customers. The advancement in chatbot technology has been very exciting for business owners and tech geeks alike. However, what is yet to come is far more exciting! Check out this chatbot trends infographic to get a glimpse of the future of chatbots:

chatbot trends infographic

4 Advances in Chatbots to Keep an Eye Out For

As chatbots become more mainstream we can expect businesses to leverage chatbots for more advanced functions. Below are 4 advances in chatbots that we think all businesses should be aware of.

Chatbots Perfecting Natural Language

Currently, natural language processing is what tells a chatbot that “Hello” is a standard greeting, and respond appropriately. It can also interpret your messages and understand the intent of your messages. For example, it can differentiate the difference between a question or a statement. These seemingly trivial details have a profound impact on the chatbot’s ability to successfully converse with a user.

However, at this stage of the game in chatbots can still misunderstand the nuances of human communication. Small differences in speech patterns, utilizing slang, accents, and more can make programming Natural language processing chatbots very difficult. Combine that with the fact that many words have different meanings and it can be difficult for a chatbot to decipher the correct meaning of a user interaction.

Expect chatbots to continue improving and perfecting their understanding of natural language. Utilizing voice interface capabilities, sentiment analysis, and advanced speech processing, the chatbot user experience is continuously improving.

Chatbots That Learn On Their Own

Chatbots are developed in one of three ways: retrieval based, generative, and generative + retrieval.

Retrieval based chatbot development means the bot is trained to rank the best response from a set of predefined responses. These responses can be entered manually or based on a knowledge base of pre-existing information. Retrieval based bots are able to answer questions about store hours, status on orders etc… very easily and are the most common type of chatbot.

Generative based chatbot development is when a chatbot is trained using a large number of previous conversations. The chatbot generates a response to the user based on this bank of past interactions. Generative models are good for conversational chatbots, however, responses might be arbitrary and not make a lot of sense.

Generative + Retrieval based chatbot development is a mixed model that takes the best of both worlds. The generative model helps to improve small talk capabilities, while the retrieval bases system helps to resolve support queries and provide information.

In the future, you can expect chatbot development to be fine-tuned with human and machine intelligence to create machine learning models. Once this becomes the new norm you will start to see self-learning chatbots that can take on more and more functions successfully.

Industry-Specific Chatbots

Each industry has unique needs and goals to fulfill, so it should be no surprise that industry-specific chatbots are in demand. For instance, chatbots for real estate are currently leveraging artificial intelligence to guide buyers through the home search process with conversational language and MLS data. This industry-specific trend will only continue.  Expect for increased chatbot specializations that provide solutions to industry-specific needs.

Shopping Chatbots

67% of US millennials said they are likely to purchase products and services from brands using a chatbot so it is no surprise that Alexa can add items to your Amazon shopping cart. Mastercard even launched a chatbot just for customer payments that are capable of answering account balance questions, set payment alerts, and collect final payments from customers.  While shopping chatbots are in their infancy, you can expect these to become more mainstream as improvements in functionality and security make these bots more dependable and accessible to users.

How Do Chatbots Fit Into Your Business Strategy?

It is important to understand what these advances in chatbot development can mean for your business. The last thing you want to do is be outdone by your competitors.  If you have not considered a chatbot strategy for your business, it is time to give DiRAD a call or send us a note. Our experienced professionals will be happy to discuss how the next generation in chatbots can help your business stay ahead of the competition and achieve your goals.