Aug

Travel Chatbots Update

                                         

These are early days for travel bots. They mostly specialize in customer service, customer information and sometimes online booking. Advanced AI technology is good and getting better by the day, but it does not replace a person. And that's unlikely to change for a while.

In order to create a positive and enjoyable experience it is imperative to have a clear understanding of what bots do well and what they don’t.

One area where they have clear advantage over humans is response speed. Using bots makes your travel business scalable. Bot can handle mutlple user conversations simultaneously and replies instantly.

The part of the bot technology that needs significant improvement is understanding of the meaning of what customer said. The solution is to take the user off the bot when this stage of the converastion is reached. One of the popular techniques is to redirect the user from bot to the website when the questions get complicated. The majority of users are at ease with website navigation where they find themselves in the familiar environment.

This approach allows to utilize the scalability of the chatbot while maintaining the high level of customer service.

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When Big Data is not so big anymore

                                                   

We are inundated with information. There is so much information around us they coined a special term - Big Data. To emphasize the sheer size of it.

It is, of course, a problem - to deal with a large amount of data. Various solutions have been created to address it efficiently.  

At nmodes we developed a semantic technology that accurately filters relevant conversations. We applied it to social networks, particularly Twitter. Twitter is a poster child of Big Data. They have 500 million conversations every day. A staggering number. And yet, we found that for many topics, when they are narrowed down and accurately filtered, there are not that many relevant conversations after all.

No more than 5 people are looking for CRM solutions on an average day on Twitter. Even less - two per day on average - are asking for new web hosting providers explicitly, although many more are complaining about their existing providers (which might or might not suggest they are ready to switch or looking for a new option).  

We often have businesses coming to us asking to find relevant conversations and expecting a large number of results. This is what Big Data is supposed to deliver, they assume. Such expectation is likely a product of our ‘keyword search dependency’. Indeed, when we run a keyword search on Twitter, or search engines, or anywhere we get a long list of results. The fact that most of them (up to 98% in many cases) are irrelevant is often lost in the visual illusion of having this long, seemingly endless, list in front of our eyes.

With the quality solutions that accurately deliver only relevant results we experience, for the first time, a situation when there are no longer big lists of random results. Only several relevant ones.  

This is so much more efficient. It saves time, increases productivity, clarifies the picture, and makes Big Data manageable.  

Time for businesses to embrace the new approach.

 

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The Automation Is Coming

                                                         

A close look at the history of humanity leaves us with no choice but to admit that the majority of jobs as we know them now will be transferred to automated systems. This is part of the technological and scientific progress our civilization is undertaking and it is irreversible.

Artificial intelligence became mainstream in 2016. For the first time artificial intelligence is not only available to big companies like Google, Amazon or Apple, but to the majority of businesses worldwide.  Startups have started building products and services using artificial intelligence en masse.

The essence of artificial intelligence is massive, intuitive computing power: machines so smart that they can learn and become even smarter.  The machines are becoming quicker and more nimble. They cover wider range of conversation topics. They now connect to robotic systems and online interactive systems. There is literally very little they cannot, or will not be able to, do as applied to industrial workforce.

With all the good that’s going to come with automation, we are suddenly faced with a new problem: the elimination of many low and middle class jobs. Many jobs that have already been severely impacted by computers (manufacturing, administrative support, retail, and transportation) will continue to diminish. In the nearest future routine-based jobs (telemarketing, sewing) and work that can be solved by smart algorithms (tax preparation, data entry keyers and insurance underwriters) are most likely to be eliminated.

What to do? It is fruitless to fight automation, we need to find ways to work with automation rather than against it.

The solution is to become more creative as species. Creativity is the natural advantage of humans over machines. Automation is about to change the course of the world, it’s going to be a great disruptor and impact the workforce like nothing we’ve seen before. We can sit around and gradually become obsolete, or accept the challenge and use the tool of creativity, which we are in unique possession of, to maintain our superiority.

 

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