Millions of companies now use chatbots for sales, customer support, and several other tasks, providing people with the fluidity and directness of interaction without needing the involvement of a human agent. Some of the benefits of this change are self-evident; for example, if a chatbot can automatically answer simple customer queries, you won’t need to recruit anyone to fill the role. You might find a quicker response time, more consistency, and less exhaustion or irritation. However, if your instincts are like the average person’s, you’ll assume that chatbots aren’t quite at the human level yet.
What Constitutes “Better”?
These are difficult questions to answer. They’re difficult to answer in part because chatbots’ applications are so varied; you can use them to answer customer service questions, generate leads, and, in some cases, even provide direct services to paying clients.
However, these questions are difficult because we must define what we mean by “better.” What distinguishes a chatbot from a human? A chatbot could theoretically be better than a human in several dimensions, and in some of those dimensions, chatbots are already objectively superior like
- Cost efficiency. There is no distinction in terms of total cost-effectiveness. Chatbots are unquestionably less expensive than their human counterparts. To perform everyday activities for 8 hours a day, you’ll need to pay them hourly or pay them an annual salary.
- Availability. Another element to consider is availability. Humans become drained after some time. They start to get hungry. They become emotionally exhausted. For chatbots, however, this is not the case. True, you can compensate for human weaknesses by placing people on rotating shifts, but there’s no real replacement for chatbots’ 24/7 availability.
- The range of service. Human beings are real contenders when it comes to service range. Modern chatbots can be programmed to cover a broad range of topics and assist customers with a wide range of issues, but all must be pre-programmed and predictable.
- Range of emotion. Chatbots’ emotional immaturity may be a benefit; they never become irritated, insulted, or impatient. However, when interacting with an agent, many people want genuine sympathy or empathy, particularly in some circumstances.
- Training and preparation. We must also consider the time and effort needed to get a person or chatbot up to speed. You’ll probably need to spend a few days, if not weeks, preparing a person for a job in customer service, sales, or a similar field. Programming a chatbot can take much longer, particularly if you’re starting from scratch; however, you’ll never have to worry about it with the chatbot.
- Communication skill. The ability to communicate is frequently at the center of this debate. Is it possible for chatbots to understand what their conversational partners are saying? Are they able to react clearly and completely? Yes, to put it briefly. Modern chatbots, as we’ll see, are highly semantically advanced.
- Consumer preference. Consumers currently prefer talking to a live person over a chatbot. Though most customers prefer self-service, most people hate the concept of having to convey their thoughts and concerns to a computer.
- Secondary benefits. Humans and chatbots also benefit from secondary advantages. Humans, for example, can benefit from their experiences with customers and provide qualitative input that can help you develop your business.
The State of AI-Based Chatbots
The most advanced chatbots of today are dependable and extremely useful. Microsoft and Google have shown technologies that can interpret human speech with error rates equivalent to humans. The latter has also demonstrated a chatbot that can make phone calls and make superficial small talk while conducting basic tasks such as arranging appointments. Other chatbot platforms illustrate their progressive nature by customizability; companies and individual customers may use the chatbot platform to develop the optimal chatbot for their needs, training and testing it to perfection.
Can Humans Ever Be Replaced?
In some cases, chatbots are superior to humans, and in others, they are not far behind. If this is right, the central question is whether humans will ever entirely be replaced.
Even if chatbots were so flawless that they were indisputably superior to human conversational equivalents (with no exploitable flaws), there would still be a subset of the population who prefers to communicate with humans over bots. There’s no guarantee that chatbots will ever hit this stage, but it’s a possibility.