From Chatbots to Conversational AI – Industry has Evolved
Chatbots have been around since the early 1960s, getting slightly more sophisticated as the decades rolled on, but only really as proof points of what was to come downstream. By the mid 2000s, chatbots began to be commercially deployed, automating basic customer requests but largely proving to be disappointing and frustrating as their binary nature was limiting, often resulting in hilarious ‘rabbit holes’ of confusion with customers ultimately desperate for a real person to contact.
Over the last five years, rapid advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) combined with access to affordable computer processing has seen Conversational AI solutions emerge as the successor to the unsuccessful early attempts at automating repetitive tasks. User experiences delivered today are unrecognisable from the early chatbots with many interactions now indistinguishable from that of a human. Crucially, these solutions can handle an ever growing number of more complex tasks and requests.
Furthermore, some Conversational AI Assistants solutions are now able to seamlessly integrate with enterprise applications, gathering data and information and presenting personalised responses back to the individual requestee. All the while respecting security parameters and data sensitivity.
This maturing of technology has dramatic implications for many departments within enterprise. Take HR for example, a focus area for us here at Humley. With the Humley HR Assistant we have been able to integrate our conversational AI platform with over 90% of the leading HR SaaS enterprise solutions and automate up to 80% of employee queries. This means employees can now ask routine and complex requests through our engine and receive lightning quick responses and actions. From employee recognition, to updates on pension status through to holiday entitlement and on-boarding questions, HR teams are now freed from repetitive and time-consuming tasks to focus on areas which capitalise on their skills and really add value to the business.
So the message is clear: if you think the conversational automation of tasks is still stuck in the awkward 90s, think again. Technology has moved on, organisations are rolling out Conversational AI at pace and achieving significant efficiency and productivity gains.