Chatbot frenzy seen by 2 passionate students [Interview]

“Building a chatbot is not an easy task but it’s so much fun”

chatbotLast week,  Vasile and Eugeniu, two interns studying at the Technical University of Moldova, introduced the trending topic of chatbots at Pentalog during a presentation that was held as part of their internship program. As final project, they created a chatbot and studied the environment of chatbot building. We asked them a few questions about their passion.

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 SkillValue: Why companies are so willing to build chatbots?

logo_student Vasile&Eugeniu: The Chatbot is a new way to interact with software. Until now we have been using graphics and keyboards. Graphics isn’t the most natural way, nor is it the simplest. A conversational interface appears to be much more native.

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 But the shift from keyboards and graphics to chatbots only appears now. Why?

logo_student We were not ready before. I mean Chatbots are mostly powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and until now this topic was not developed as it is now. The first chatbot was created in 1966 (Eliza) and it had very limited capabilities. Even now they are not as permissive. Nevertheless, they are strong enough now to accomplish some basic tasks in different businesses, they are not just a concept anymore.

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 Which businesses are the most implicated with Chatbots ?

logo_student ecommerce-iconA lot of E-commerce websites provide chatbots as an interface  as an online shopping assistant, to help people buy their products. There are also companies like Dell who use Chatbots for customer service. Customer first interaction is conducted by a chatbot and according to the demand the client is forwarded to a human being to solve the problem. This method could be interesting for companies who want to scale their business.

medicine-box-2-iconIn healthcare there are chatbots that can analyze a series of questions or symptoms in order to give a first diagnostic. The analysis is based on keywords.healthcare there are chatbots that can analyze a series of questions or symptoms in order to give a first diagnostic. The analysis is based on keywords.

educationEducation is also another big deal for chatbots. Chatbots can for instance help people improve their skills and learn a new language faster.

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 What does it take to build a chatbot?    

logo_student You have to know what kind of chatbot you want. There are two types of chatbots: conversational and transactional chatbots, which are built to help the user achieve a specific goal. Transactional chatbots are used in E-commerce whereas the conversational ones are mostly used in customer support.

Another aspect that you have to consider is the interface where you want to place your chatbot. You can have a textual interface or a voice powered interface. The most famous chatbots powered by voice are Siri, and Google assistant.

So if you want to implement a simple chatbot nowadays you have open platforms such as ChatFuel,  ChattyPeople, Smooch and others,  which allow you to create limited conversational chatbots. But you must have resources if you want a more complex chatbot.

For instance, you can use Node.Js for the Back end and Angular for the Front End part.
Assess your Node.JS knowledge

Assess your Angular knowledge

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 What are the limits of a chatbot?

logo_student  There is no limit if you have the resources. The only limit depends on the AI, and the pace of its evolution.

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 If you consider all the famous chatbots on the market, which one is the best for you today and why?

logo_student For us it is Google assistant. Because it’s amazing how it understands the context much better than its concurrent apps.

All in all, we can say that chatbots are good and can be used for everything. However, we have to bear in mind that chatbots are not here to replace human beings. They can accomplish some basic tasks but they are not able to solve complex issues, at least for now.

logo_SkillValue_background_gri_30 Thank you guys for being so passionate and curious. Keep up the good job :)

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