Technology headlines have been dominated in recent months by ChatGPT (GPT-3.5) and Bard (Lamda). Users have woken up to the reality that conversational artificial intelligence (CAI) has moved on a very long way from the public perception of chatbots that was largely formed from older and also, frankly, recent but less well-designed bots.
With this explosion of public interest and the realisation that the technology can do a lot more than previously thought, businesses are now having to rethink their whole CAI strategy. Probably the most significant aspect of this paradigm shift is the least obvious. For years, survey after survey has told us customers prefer to talk to real people, to be served by real people – customers don’t like chatbots and automated voice solutions. Clearly, as the immediate, vast and broad popularity of ChatGPT has demonstrated, the public is happy using chatbots if they actually work.
A chatbot on the website that just answers a few questions and can’t cope with any kind of unexpected input just won’t cut it with customers who have now seen and used better. At the same time, businesses are understandably nervous about trying to use generative conversational AI (where the conversational AI constructs its own responses to user questions) in situations where the accuracy of the response really matters and where they need to perform specific actions in response to customer requests.
With the rapid evolutionary development of the technology comes another common challenge for businesses – what to buy and even more crucially when – you don’t want to get left behind as your competitors embrace new tools and their advantages, but you don’t want to back the wrong horse (remember Betamax anyone?) and be left facing a costly and time-consuming exercise to re-platform later.
If you had a complex electrical job to do at home, would you attempt to do it yourself or get an expert in? I think at home, most of us would just get an electrician to put in a new fuse board – it’s safer and much more likely to work the first time and is generally considered money well spent. You also wouldn’t hire your own personal team of electricians to work on your home – it’s too expensive and you wouldn’t have enough to keep them busy most of the time.
Interestingly that kind of thinking so often hasn’t translated to specialist IT areas like conversational AI. Organisations have either attempted to DIY or gone the other way and hired in their own centre of excellence, often adding more overhead than value in some cases. Understanding the best way to implement conversational AI is a specialist skill involving knowledge of all the latest tools and techniques and practical experience of what makes a good implementation.
If your existing chatbot or voice response bot is stuck in the past, or you have been afraid to dip your toe in the CAI water, then it’s time to call in the specialists.
Valcon is here to help you make the right technology choices, implement successfully and get the business benefits at a price that will always pay for itself.