Conversational AI First
“Welcome to your mobile phone provider! If you have a question concerning your contract, please press number 1“. Everyone has been in contact with the ever-so-friendly voice of an automated service hotline. In the evolutionary context, this type of communication robot can be seen as the Neanderthal of digital assistants. The chatbots of the new generation have by far not only been applied in the field of service hotlines. Frequently and without noticing, we encounter them on a daily basis, among other things during online shopping and in social networks. Meanwhile, the underlying systems have undergone several evolutionary stages and have developed into complex software applications. With Conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence), networked systems are addressed via natural dialog. The worldwide leading research company is convinced that CONVERSATIONAL AI FIRST will replace “Cloud First” and “Mobile First” as a mantra for the upcoming 10 years. But how come?
Limitations and challenges
The parallel development of technology and user behavior turned the chatbot topic into a mega trend. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been achieving extreme progress, messengers – in the scope of “Mobile First”-mentality – are becoming an indispensable component of our daily lives. More than 4.1 billion users worldwide use instant messaging and chat apps at any given time. Chatbots are used in order to operate this newly discovered channels. Due to AI and its steep rise, it is a far-reaching opinion that a chatbot could be smart enough to replace human communication, in perspective even completely. As a first point of contact to the company, they are supposed to provide direct assistance by referring to information like customer and order data.
However, the initial euphoria evaporates quickly when technology reaches its limits. Humans still prefer communication with other humans. The fact that a simple chatbot cannot be compared to the complexity of a human brain only adds to that. The view that technology, in particular, cannot replace the sense of the other person’s perception is being reinforced.
Moreover, the development of communication channels poses a serious challenge to companies within the implementation scope of chatbots. There are numerous existing messaging apps that enable customers to communicate both by means of audio as well as text messages. Language control functions provide the possibility to interact with the device without the need to touch it. Besides messaging apps, there are further available communication channels like e.g. websites or hotlines.
Digital assistant as a „single point of contact”
One of the challenges consists of collecting, consolidating and evaluating the flood of information centrally which stems from multiple channels in diverse formats. In many cases, companies additionally apply heterogeneous back office system environments needing to be accessed by both the chatbot as well as the employee in order to interact with the customer. Therefore, it is essential that chatbots act as “single points of contact” and are consolidated through fully-developed interfaces with all presented components. This allows for a conversation that is as natural and expedient as possible. This requirement cannot be served by a simple chatbot system due to its high dependence on the context in which it is used.
These findings lead to simple chatbots for digital assistants and new ideas for modern application scenarios. The new generation of chatbot is now used where it is most needed. Digital assistants are for instance integrated solidly in service processes for a sustainable optimization of service quality. As a first aid, they can provide support with standard questions (in approximately 80% of service cases) before any further human contact is initiated for complex problems. The digital assistants are not supposed to be a substitution but a meaningful addition for interpersonal communication.
Oracle offers a comprehensive cloud solution
With the Oracle Digital Assistant, a product is on the market that meets the described challenges in an innovative way. Based on AI, self-learning chatbot systems (skills) can be implemented that possess the ability to react to the needs and the according kind of entertainment of users in a dynamic way and without standardized keywords and phrases that have been fed to them. As a context-independent system, the Oracle Digital Assistant can be equipped with multiple skills and thus act as a “single point of contact” for the company’s comprehensive range of information and services. Furthermore, an integration with the most diverse back office applications as well as into all common messaging apps, web portals and popular language assistants such as Alexa and Siri can be realized without any difficulties. Diverse skills can be developed and combined, creating a more natural, dialog-oriented user interface through text or language. By doing so, this chatbot of the new generation can perform valuable actions in the name of employees. Here, Oracle, as the leading provider of cloud applications, offers a future-oriented system for an efficient customer experience.
Author: Niklas Kruse
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