Until a few years ago, technology companies focused on providing a user-friendly interface for humans to interact. But the current trend is to present an interface which is not only user-friendly but also has artificial intelligence. With bots showing the capability to do specific tasks, messenger apps are slowly embracing to chatbots. But unlike what most think, chatbots are revolutionizing the technology in a big unprecedented manner.
Chatbots are software applications which serve functions related to simulated conversation.
Historically, it can be traced to Alan Turing, the man behind the Turing Machine & the Turing test. ELIZA (1966) & PARRY (1972) are considered as the first chatbots. They were specifically designed to simulate human language and nothing more. Chatbot development was stagnant for a very long period of time until the last decade, especially with the emergence of SMS, messenger apps, and smart devices.
In the real world, humans interact using natural language. We do not use any mechanism like commands/buttons or at times we do not even use the proper grammar associated with the language.
Although initially many language processing applications faced many challenges due to these reasons, technology advances have resolved most if not all of the initial challenges. Similar to bots, chatbots can process information and learn from them. But unlike bots, chatbots use natural language for processing. Humans find it easy to interact with any interface if it was based on natural communication and not on any other mechanisms. This potential has made chatbot developments to be one of the growing trends among messenger developers.
What exactly are the benefits of the chat bot app development?
Chatbots can be classified in two different ways:
1. Bots working within apps
Bots working within apps are implemented to perform specific tasks or to automate interaction between the app and the users. These Bots are recommended to business ventures that already have a large user base.
2. Bots functioning within messengers
These bots work in messengers that support bots. Unlike the other category of bots, these bots are cost-friendly. These bots can serve better for the business that is yet to have a large user base.
How does chatbot function?
Texts are the sole input for chatbots to complete their assignments. Chatbots understand text-based messages in two ways , namely strict commands & NLP(Natural Language processing) .
Chatbots that strictly rely on strict commands are very less in today’s market. These chatbots only respond to commands that are recognized by them.
Today’s market mostly has chatbots that rely on natural language processing. Strict commands are not required for them in order to synthesize the inputs. Instead, they would need the users to interact with them in the most natural way possible.
Technology behind Chatbot
We can broadly divide the existing technologies behind chatbots into APIs and machine learning technologies.
In areas, where the chatbots need to work with TUI(Textual User Interface),the interaction is mainly based on text commands. And in such cases, in order to facilitate the interaction between the user and interface, the only action required is to integrate the specific API. API would then make it possible to interact with the user, respond to the queries and perform the specific tasks.
Chatbots can also make use of machine learning. By means of interpreting data based on previous interaction, recognition of data & speech and making use of machine learning technologies, chatbots can be smarter while interacting with users in a more natural language-based command.
Development Tools available for chatbot developments
Several development tools are available for chatbot creation and these could be classified mainly into two:
1. Tools which need some programming knowledge
One of the best examples for this category is Pandorabots. Developers need to have prior knowledge in programming and would have to program in certain areas if not in all .Although design and development could be time consuming, these tools can help in better integration with apps and also in better customization compared to other methods.
2. Tools which need no prior programming knowledge
Example for this type of tools is Chatfuel. Chatbot development tools which require no prior programming knowledge usually have step by step guidance or wizard to help in the development of chatbot. Steps provided by these tools are mostly user-friendly and easy to follow. Faster design and development are possible with help of these tools.
Chatbots- the era for a better interface
From the development perspective, we could see a surge in chatbots thanks to the wide range of tools, many of which that do not require any programming or coding skills. More and more native applications could be replaced by chatbots in near future. The advantages of which are:
Chatbots are capable of learning from users
Perhaps, the advent of a new exciting time for technology is here thanks to chatbots. Users would no longer be confined to constraints of graphical user interfaces. We do foresee a future in which we do not need to adjust our communication for technology, rather would have the technology adapt to our ways and norms and be more useful & effective than ever before. All these thanks to the chatbots and the benefits it brings onboard. Experienced App developers and mobile app development companies like Promatics Technologies have already embraced this technology and are working actively on chatbot development for clients worldwide.