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Live chat software operated by humans: The safer option … Gemma Baker, Click4Assistance

by on August 15, 2017 in Digital Marketing, featured item, Latest News, Lead Article, Mobile, News you can use, Nuggets, Tech

Live chat software operated by humans: The safer option … Gemma Baker, Click4Assistance

What are your opinions of chatbots?

2017 hasn’t been a very good year for Facebook and their progress with chatbots. The end of February saw reports on the bots hitting a 70% failure rate, as they were lacking understanding of the interaction, resulting in a human representative having to step in. This caused the social media giant to scale back its AI ambitions.

The end of July also saw Facebook experience adverse results and having to shut down their experiment. The social media giant’s AI researchers were attempting to teach the chatbots how to negotiate, however the bots identified as Bob and Alice deviated from the scripted conversation and continued communicating in their own manner meant to imitate human speech.

This is the conversation that has been reported between the two bots:

Bob: i can i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i i can i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i i i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have 0 to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

So it may seem that Alice has been learning language from the Chuckle Brothers, and the bots conversation is completely harmless as it is incomprehensive, but what happens if we continue to encourage the development of AI and chatbots?

It could create dangerous situations for the human enquirers; I’m not talking about Terminator scenarios where machines take over the world, but the scenarios where chatbots have grown more sophisticated and can communicate comprehensively without a script.

The language may be understood by humans, however, with a 70% failure rate already experienced what will stop them from providing incorrect information they have spontaneously responded with?

This should certainly be a cause for worry within the healthcare industry. Work has commenced on a chatbot for the NHS 111 helpline, if the bot advises that the visitor should see their GP as a non-emergency but actually they should be going to A&E, their advice could truly interfere and cause havoc with real people’s lives. Therefore the technology really needs to be perfected before it can interact with humans in this manner.

However, this AI technology is not going to be best suited for every industry. If Facebook has been scaling back their ambitions and shutting down chatbots, organisations should be very careful with implementing this technology whilst in its immature state.

Using human representatives to operate live chat software is a proven concept and a better option as they are trained experts in their selected area. They can advise based on what the enquirer is saying or know they need to ask questions to deepen their understanding before providing advice, rather than just giving the most relevant response they know to the information the visitor has provided.

Human operators also can read the tone of the conversation and respond appropriately, how can a bot be empathic to feelings when it doesn’t have the ability to have them? Enquirers are already suspicious of who they are speaking with, let alone if they are is a state of frustration or distress, they rather have the confidence they are speaking with someone who is actually listening to them rather than just responding to their enquiry.

What are your opinions of chatbots; would you rather have a human operator at the other end of chat or don’t mind as long as your enquiry gets answered quickly?

Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK live chat software provider, Click4Assistance, @C4AUK with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.

 

 

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