Understanding AI chatbots is crucial before delving deeper into their impact on society. Basically, they’re a software program that automatically replies to human questions or searches via text or voice, making it convenient for humans to interact with devices like they would with a real person.
Most e-commerce websites have integrated AI chatbots to work as customer service representatives. They act as respondents to clients’ questions regarding a specific product, giving instant responses. Another notable aspect of AI chatbots is that they learn from conversations and adjust their responses over time.
That being the case, some people are concerned that AI bots will replace human connection. According to Reddit, they will complement it instead. This article examines this perspective in detail.
Reddit’s Perspective on AI: Human Connection
Reddit doesn’t think businesses’ massive uptake of AI chatbots will replace human connection. In a recent statement by Reddit’s spokesman, Nick Singer, they’re still exploring AI chatbot technologies.
Besides, Singer acknowledges that many people use AI tools like ChatGPT because engaging with them is entertaining. Therefore, integrating such tools into search engines will make online information search enjoyable. The only concern with deploying AI-assisted searches is that they can sometimes make factual errors, a good example being Google’s Bard.
Nick Singer states that the main reason why people trust the information on Reddit is that users can upvote or downvote (approve or disapprove) a post. This means that by posting wrong or misleading information, your comment won’t appear at the top of a thread.
Generally, many people would rather trust information from a large community like Reddit than a random website on Google. It’s also possible to analyze Reddit information by checking users’ history and asking them related questions.
One of the ways Reddit differs from chatbots is that users aren’t sure whether they’re receiving good citations. Ultimately, Reddit hopes people will soon talk to chatbots and find the answers they need.
Ways of Creating a Human-Bot Collaboration in Business
In a recent study by Gartner, it was revealed that chatbots will become the primary customer service provider for nearly 25% of organizations. Generally, AI chatbots learn from conversations and continuously improve their response. Over time, they’ll become capable of handling queries quickly, reducing the workload for client service teams.
With such capacity, will they eventually replace humans? The answer is: no, bots will not take over the role of customer service agents. Understand that bots and humans have varying strengths, and replacing one with the other isn’t the smartest choice for any business owner.
Undoubtedly, many business owners don’t know how bots and humans can work together. However, there are steps to ensure a successful human-bot collaboration.
Integrating Chatbots in Client Support
You can use AI chatbots to answer the frequently asked questions your customers ask and guide them through content that will help them find the service and product they need.
This automation increases business efficiency since customers receive quick answers to their questions without waiting for a customer care support agent to attend to them.
Understand Your Client
In a recent study by Acxiom, over 60% of respondents between 16 to 34 years of age said they couldn’t tell the difference between a real person and an automated system. As a business owner, you should know your client’s expectations since it will help you achieve a successful human-bot interaction.
Remember that you can better serve your clients’ needs if you know what they want. Besides, you can attain this by combining engaged human agents and conversation AI chatbots.
Generally, AI chatbots can handle the first point of contact since they have developed conversational skills. They can also re-direct the conversation to human client support if customers have individualized requests and need help addressing complex issues. Ultimately, the clients will engage in naturally flowing conversations and have a great brand experience.
3 Main Limitations of Chatbots
A recent consumer service report showed customers turn to a bot for simple needs. In the case of complex issues, they prefer speaking to humans. From the report, shoppers of all ages didn’t like the rise in the use of bots.
A third of people aged 18 to 24 say that chatbots make connecting with human client support harder. Let’s briefly outline some of the shortcomings of AI chatbots.
Chatbots are Devoid of Emotional Intelligence
A study by Penn State showed that many people appreciate the chatbot’s response but consider it “a polite response” instead of an emotional expression. This means AI is great at imitating human conversations. However, they can’t provide an emotional connection.
Creating an emotional connection with customers can mean success or failure for a business in today’s competitive environment. With the advancement in AI, developers are creating chatbots that can express empathy or sympathy.
Still, they can’t replace human emotion. In fact, some people displayed a negative attitude towards the chatbots showing sympathy.
They Can’t Handle Complex Tasks
The main reason why customers reach out to human agents is that they can help them make a decision while purchasing a service or product. AI chatbots specialize in delivering automatic replies but can’t make immediate and complex decisions.
Additionally, chatbots have limited responses. When a customer’s question is not clear or specific, they may not be of help. Furthermore, they are designed to answer questions from their database’s information.
So, if a client deviates from the list of their capabilities, they will likely take time to understand the question and ultimately not provide a solution. When shoppers don’t receive immediate responses, they become dissatisfied.
Chatbots Can Sometimes Be Biased
One thing to note is that regardless of the source of the AI data set, you can trace it back to human intervention. AI chatbots understand human conversations through Natural Language Processing (NLP).
The first step in creating a functional chatbot is to input data that it can learn from, which could be through the integration of AI deep learning chips. You’ll then need to feed it with data from the day-to-day conversations.
This way, when a user inputs data, the AI will check the meaning and intent from factors like context and sentence structure before giving a reply.
Besides, humans are naturally biased, whether unconsciously or implicitly, and it’s no surprise that chatbots can sometimes use biased data. Eventually, this can affect interactions between humans and the bot.
The Adoption of Ethics in AI Deployment
There has been a lot of discussion about the need to consider ethics in designing AI chatbots, but this isn’t something that will likely come to fruition. A recent research that included over 600 technology experts, researchers, and policy leaders indicated that most professionals were concerned that the evolution of AI chatbots would primarily focus on improving business profits.
When questioned on whether businesses will factor in ethical principles in the training of AI bots, 68% said they won’t. Some experts consider using AI in a way that is accountable and transparent as “ethical.”
For others, ethics in AI adoption means that its use will comply with the values of an organization, client expectations, and existing laws and regulations. Generally, ethical AI involves the deployment of AI chatbots in a way that ensures the responses provided are explainable and justified.
Here’s how ethical issues can arise when adopting AI chatbots, and the best ways to address them.
Transparency in Communication
Most users are concerned about transparency when deploying and training AI machines, including chatbots — particularly in protecting their data. If a business has clear terms of service, the information you share with a bot can be collected and sold without your knowledge.
So, when using an AI chatbot, ensure the business you’re interacting with has a data usage and protection policy. Additionally, the advancement in AI chatbots can make it difficult to tell whether you’re chatting with a human or a bot.
An example is Google Duplex, an AI system that can carry out phone conversations like humans, such as scheduling appointments. As it incorporates an aspect of realness into the bot, users should know that they’re communicating with a chatbot to avoid distrust.
Gender Bias and Improper Training in Chatbots
One major controversy in the design of chatbots is the gender that developers assign to bots. Generally, females have taken up assistant roles in most workplaces. It’s no surprise that different chatbot, like Amazon Alexa, has a female voice.
In addition to gender biases, businesses should take precautions during training to ensure that the bots don’t display abusive or racist language. An instance of improper bot training is evident in the deployment of Microsoft Tay, an AI chatbot designed to respond depending on how users interact with it.
When the users started to use racist and sexist language, the bot also incorporated it into its replies. Such an issue can be avoided in chatbots in the future if the training data used for bots can predict and prevent offensive language.
Implementing AI chatbots in businesses significantly improves business operations, but from Reddit’s perspective, it can’t replace human interaction. They believe that AI chatbots will complement customer care agents.
Besides, businesses should follow ethical guidelines when training AI chatbots. One basic principle includes training a chatbot to recognize offensive language and omit it when processing data.