“AI is the new electricity” – Andrew Ng
Artificial intelligence is everywhere! Just as electricity revolutionized lives 100 years ago, AI is changing our lives completely today. Google, Netflix, face detection, predictive searches, recommendations, maps, autonomous cars, to name a few, all use some form of AI to make our lives better.
Conversational UI for enterprise applications
Google Trends snapshot on the demand for chatbots/artificial intelligence shows an uptick in demand in AI and chatbots in the past few years. The increase in demand may be attributed to breakthroughs in software, hardware, and big data that are the key enablers in its growth.
Conversational UI aka chatbots
Conversational UIs or chatbots, are platforms that mimic human behavior. In order to be effective, conversational UIs must support all three Ts – talk (the user should be able to talk to the bot using human understandable language), text (the user should be able to type in queries using a simple interface), and tap (simple helpful menus that can point user in the right direction). Including all three modes ensures flexibility in the chatbot.
Channels for chatbots
It is possible to easily integrate chatbots on channels such as Skype, Facebook, Slack, etc. Different platforms support different channels. Conversational UI can also be easily plugged into any existing application using a web service interface.
Can chatbots replace humans?
Many companies are still skeptical about chatbots. However, chatbots can, in fact, be very useful. AI and chatbots can help with mundane repetitive tasks that can be automated to leave professionals to focus on more important activities. Whether chatbots can replace humans completely is still debatable. We are far away from a real human bot. Some predict that bots may eventually pass the Turing test, but we still have a long way to go.
AI chatbot for manufacturing
Capgemini’s CSD Solutioning team recently worked on building a chatbot that could be called by a plant floor employee to quickly identify cars with faulty parts. Such a chatbot can potentially save employees a lot of effort spent looking through complex systems. The chatbot solution was built on Microsoft Azure using the bot framework.
The business problem here was to cater to a European automotive major, specifically their plant floor employees who need to check inventory on a regular basis and check parts being used in the cars on the plant floor. The bot provides a convenient way for the user to ask/type a question and fetch real-time data on a specific part, for example a gear, or number of seats, or roof color.
The key to making a successful chatbot is to solve the business problem using conversational UI with a human touch. The chatbot we built does not have elaborate menus – it detects intent based on what the user says and determines the next action. The chatbot is multilingual – it can handle both English and German.
Our AI auto chatbot can handle both English and German, it decides which LUIS app to use based on the user’s browser settings.
The AI auto chatbot can also handle basic small talk, providing the user with helpful tips. This is useful when the user is confused or not able to ask the chatbot what it is supposed to do.
Though the bot was built specifically for this automotive use case, it can easily be adapted to cater to other domains and use cases.
For existing applications by enabling better ways of doing business by adding support for text, talk or tap and also for adding intelligent features to new businesses applications thereby increasing the reach and adoption of such applications. Top companies continue to rely on digital platforms to reinvent their application portfolio and align to Industry 4.0 principles. Not only does this empower employees, but also moves such organizations up the value chain with improvement, innovation, and intelligent interconnected systems.
Some other sectors where chatbots can bring in big benefits are customer service, personalization and recommendations, automation, etc. Using artificial intelligence is the need of the hour and chatbots are a big part of the transformation journey. Investing in chatbot and artificial intelligence can prove very useful to big enterprises.