2 reasons why chatbots could be your next best friend

What is a chatbot ?

Before we dive into how a chatbot may be your next best friend, let’s first establish what a chatbot is and how they are being used today. A chatbot is a computer program that can have text or voice based conversations with a human. Thousands of Chatbots exist already on messaging platforms such as Messenger, Telegram, Slack and Skype. Recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning means that Chatbots can now hold more natural conversations that do not necessarily have to follow a predefined script. The video below provided by Instapage helps to explain just exactly what a chatbot is.

  1. They can keep your life organised

Chatbots and voice assistants such as Alexa or Google’s Allo can help keep your life organised. Instead of writing down reminders on a piece of paper, now it is possible to talk to Alexa (a voice assistant that operates on Amazon’s echo devices) and ask her to set reminders for a specific time.

A chatbot that operates on messenger (called Christopher Bot), helps students keep track of homework, assignments and deadlines that are given over the course of a week. In order for the chatbot to work, students share schedules with the chatbot and at the end of a lesson or lecture, the bot automatically asks the student if an assignment or homework had been set. In other words, chatbots can act as an all round personal assistant.

2. Chatbots have the potential to understand and respond to emotion

An emotional Chatbot has been developed by some leading scientists at Tsinghua university (a leading university in China). The Chatbot developed by the scientists is set to create a new wave of emotionally aware Chatbots, that can converse with humans and be able to understand emotion. The bot can be classified as an ECM (emotional chatting machine). This new type of chatbot signals an era where Chatbots may be able to understand and respond to human emotions accordingly.

The ECM was able to hold full length conversations and was able to not only respond to emotions but also show happyness, sadness or disgust. The researches in Beijing have solved a fundamental problem that revolves around human computer interaction and that is that the interaction is purely functional and not emotionally based. In the coming decade we may talk to chatbots the same way as we talk to counselors. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work addressing the emotion factor in large-scale conversation generation” claim Hao et all the scientists behind the research. The paper can be found here.

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