Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Chatbots are terrible

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/12/11/consumers-go-cold-automated-chatbots-finds-acquia-research

" Widespread dissatisfaction with the service provided by chatbots has done nothing to dent the enthusiasm of marketers, with 80% of CMOs either already using the technology or planning to do so by 2020 according to a separate Oracle survey."

I played around with chatbots and smart chatbots a couple years back.  I still lived in California when a friend and I thought about a health and wellness chatbot for new and expecting parents.  Never figured the monetary business model for it though and it was early stages before things like dialogflow basically abstracted away natural language processing (NLP).

It was interesting how you had to come up with a natural conversation flow script.  Otherwise it be kind of a dumb chatbot like we had in the early 90s.  

Fast forward to the world of Alexa and Google home and Siri and even my kids call Alexa dumb.  At least Google hole explores the internet a little better.   But I don't think it's  Technology problem as it's a customer centric problem.   Companies have offshored support to places like India for years.  And you'd speak to a Tom Smith who wasn't a Tom Smith pretending to live in the same state as you.   And they spoke English very poorly and read from a limited script. 

     They were the human version of a dumb chatbot, sadly.  Deviate away from that script and it was a useless phone call and nothing good would come out of it.  But wow, pay nothing to create a dumb chatbot with the same weak script and little programmatic or NLP or rules and you get a worse version of the offshore customer support human being that people hated for years.   No wonder chatbots are useless.

A tier one, two, three model makes sense , but a dumbed down version of a cheap Sweatshop like human being customer support center becomes a get what you pay for and why most of these chatbots offer a few lines and not much else . 

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