Artificial Intelligence promises to makes thousands, if not millions, of people redundant. We will be talking to, learning from and possibly even falling in love with bots. (Yes, I said bots not butts.)
In the world of AI (or as Jeremy … from IBM said, it’s more like IA – Information Assistants – at the moment), it’s the big boys that tend to make all the noise at the moment.
IBM Watson and Google Deep Mind in particular.
But there are more commonplace applications of chatbots – such as ordering a pizza or buying a book.
One of the best bots we’ve seen of late is the CindyBot. This is the brainchild of Cindy Gallop, who is an adland exec, angel investor and a champion of #makelovenotporn She has developed a bot that helps women to have better salary conversations and get the rewards they deserve.
Here’s how it works. You go into Facebook Messenger, find CindyBot and start a conversation. She asks you for a zip code (this is a US-focused bot), your job, years of experience and then tells you the average salaries – and then starts to discuss what you’d like to earn and how to get there – including what you’re good at and what you could improve.
There you have it – a fully functioning training tool and mentor, all just a few clicks away. More than that, it’s a messaging app, so it’s easy to use, it feels quite personal (it’s a one-to-one conversation after all) and it feels like I’m leading the conversation.
So what can you do with chatbots right now? Let’s look at some applications:
Training and Development
It’s estimated that we will be able to deliver tailoired learning in schools, where a machine will be able to understand about an individual learner and adapt the learning accordingly – helping a learner to develop at their own speed and to their own needs. Why shouldn’t that happen in the workplace?
The natural language processing of chatbots can see intranets becoming redundant. imagine if you could ask a chatbot or Alexa (or equivalent) the contact details of a colleague or to find you a specific piece of information, or simply to book you a taxi. Wouldn’t that be something?! No need to log on to some clunky intranet and try and scour the archives for what you need.
Okay, so we know when people speak to clients, it is a great way to sell. Nothing beats that. But what if clients have questions about a product or service, and they can just find out from a bot. Or simply that there’s a more responsive way of getting to the right information where they don’t have to navigate a traditional web page.
These are some simple ways of looking at chatbots. Of course, AI will bring sophisticated ways of working to us that we haven’t yet explored. But for now, I’m with Cindy and her Bot.