What is Conversational AI (conversational artificial intelligence) and how does it work?
Conversational AI or conversational artificial intelligence is the set of technologies that makes automated messaging and conversations possible without human intervention. It involves text-based as well as speech-enabled automated human-computer interaction in a conversational format.
Conversational AI solutions make use of technology like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Natural Language Generation (NLG), etc., which allow these conversational AI apps to communicate like humans by recognizing speech and text, identifying intent and entities, understanding messages and speech in various languages, and responding in a manner that emulates human conversations.
In addition to these technologies, conversational AI applications also make use of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR models), Advanced Dialog management, as well as Machine Learning (ML) to understand every interaction, react to it appropriately, and learn from it as well.
The conversational Ai application first gets inputs from human users in the form of written text or spoken phrases. If the input is in the form of spoken text, the app uses ASR models to use voice recognition and make sense of the spoken words by translating them into a machine readable format - text.
The application then uses NLU (which happens to be a part of NLP) to figure out the meaning behind the text. DIalog Management is then used to come up with responses, which are turned into human understandable format using NLG.
The conversational AI tool then either delivers the response in text or makes use of speech synthesis to send a voice-based response to the user or customer.
It also accepts corrections uses machine learning and reinforcement learning to learn from errors and mistakes and provide better experiences in the future.
Why is conversational AI important?
Conversational AI is very important because it allows businesses to scale up and automate marketing, sales, and support activities all through the customer journey.
It helps business save a huge chunk of their customer support costs because conversational AI makes it possible for companies to use virtual assistants to automate repetitive customer queries that do not require individual attention from human agents. The human agents work through live chat and only the most complex queries get routed to them, thus enabling them to focus on actually solving these issues throughly instead of trying to speed up issue resolution with a quick fix or a band-aid that would not be powerful enough to hold things together permanently.
Conversational AI also allows companies to engage with their customers in their own language, without needing to hire a large number of human agents that speak all the languages across all the regions that they serve.
Is conversational AI the future?
Conversational AI is definitely going to be the future. Especially voice-based conversational AI. People don't want to hunt through websites and online stores to find what they want, they want an easier process, and conversational AI is right here to reduce customer effort.
Instead of needing to open a shopping app and hunt for products, add them to their carts, and go through a complex checkout flow, if your customers could simply text a bot and ask for the product that they are looking for and proceed to purchase it right there, it would make life much easier for them.
Voice-based conversational AI makes things even better by allowing customers to multitask while doing business with you. It would even allow them to do business with you while they are performing a task like driving to work because they wouldn't have to look at a screen, the ASR models would allow them to input commands via speech and get work done right there with minimum effort, without taking their concentration away from the main task that they were performing.
In the future, conversational AI with NLP technology will be integrated with business and customer data in a deeper manner, thus allowing chatbots and virtual assistants to deliver extremely personalized content in a more natural, conversational format, thus creating better customer experiences.
What is an example of conversational AI ?
Conversational AI examples include chatbots which are a very powerful example of conversational AI. AI-powered chatbots can hold conversations with human users & a company's customers and answer their queries instantly with appropriate responses, irrespective of the time.
In addition to these bots, virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana are also examples of conversational AI tools.
What is a key differentiator of conversational artificial intelligence (ai)?
The key differentiator of conversational AI is that it makes it possible for AI powered technologies to interact with users in a humanesque manner, while even taking the user's emotional state into account by using sentiment analysis and responding in a tone that empathasizes with the user.
When businesses use conversational AI platforms, they're giving themselves the opportunity to grow tremendously. These technologies empower businesses to make more effective digital transformations and engage their customers over the messaging applications that they use all day long (like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, etc.).
Take an eCommerce business as an example.
If the organization deployed AI-powered chatbots on the eCommerce site, they could reduce their cart abandonment rate substantially by interacting with shoppers, sharing details about products and store policies, and even providing offers to encourage the sale.
Effectively, deploying an eCommerce bot would be like having an artificially intelligent salesperson or shopping assistant that shares personalized recommendations and relevant information with your customers, giving them valuable insights into the products that they are considering purchasing and even guiding shoppers towards the purchase.
The biggest differentiator that conversational AI brings to the table is that it reduces the customer effort involved in performing tasks and creates a more natural and human experience for your customers.