It wasn’t that long ago that conversational AI was merely a buzzword appealing to a select few. Since then, it has become an essential tool used by all successful businesses to communicate with their target audiences. Virtually every online shopper may already have experienced AI in any one of its many forms, but they might not have been aware that they were talking to a program. Here is a brief overview of conversational AI technology and what it can do for your business.
What is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI is a sub-niche of the much broader artificial intelligence umbrella. It consists of text-based or speech-based technologies that can mimic and automate human conversations. The development of highly accurate AI applications like chatbots and voice assistants was spurred by recent advancements in adjacent technologies, machine learning and deep learning. The emergence of the Natural Language interface and other similar AI algorithms have also contributed to humanizing AI interactions.
How Does It Work?
How does a conversational AI application receive a query, process the information, and provide the appropriate response?
This is all made possible by the Natural Language Understanding or NLU, which allows chatbots to decipher unstructured human language.
It breaks questions down into words and relevant terms so that the chatbot can understand what is being asked based on the context. This can take into account errors in grammar, shortcuts, and the nuances of the user’s language.
What makes conversational AI unique is that it remembers the context of the initial question as the conversation goes on. This is what separates it from a canned response pre-selected for certain keywords or trigger phrases.
Once the user’s intent is established based on context, the machine learning component kicks in to formulate an appropriate response. The more the AI responds to various questions, the more it is fine-tuned by a human agent, and its responses should become more relevant and appropriate to the user’s intent as the exchange continues.
Finally, when intent is established and a solution is identified, the only thing left for the AI application to do is provide a response. This is where natural language generation comes in. It allows the chatbot or assistant to reply in a manner that the user can understand.
Why Is It Important to Businesses Today?
Most businesses today integrated conversational AIs into their customer engagement strategies, and for a good reason. It can be used across multiple channels and touchpoints, from live chat messaging to social media interfaces and emails. This level of flexibility allows businesses to provide an immediate response to queries posed by customers all over the world.
Aside from the omnichannel flexibility, conversational AI applications allow customers to connect with a brand whenever they want. They could be at home getting ready for bed, taking a break at work, or waiting for an order at the restaurant and still be able to connect with customer service using chatbots or intelligent assistants.
Conversational AI solutions can help a company’s sales representative or customer support team by filtering simple and repetitive questions. This leaves your agents freer to engage with high-value inquiries that have more potential for sales.
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