Can chatbots improve government customer service?

Chatbots, the automated messaging programs that carry on conversations with users, may soon be answering citizen questions about government services.

DigitalGov University hosted “Automatic for the People: AI, Machine Learning and Chatbots for Digital Customer Service in Government” at the General Services Administration headquarters June 28 to discuss how advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, including bots, can expand and improve digital customer service. Read more

Advancing the art of the cognitive chatbot

Bots are in vogue like never before. They’re the heart of every next-generation cognitive app for mobile, social, e-commerce, and seemingly every other solution domain.

But they’re not a new phenomenon. Generally, the term refers to intelligent software agents with the ability to operate autonomously or under event-driven scenarios that can be interactively adjusted by the stakeholders whose interests they serve. A classic example of Internet bot is the web crawler, an enabling technology of search engines everywhere. Read more

Chat To Your Bank Through FB Messenger — Banking Apps Are So Last Year

Now consumers can text or talk to their bank through messaging apps such as Facebook FB +3.36% Messenger, Slack and SMS using an artificial intelligence platform from Kasisto, a company spun out from SRI International.

Its enterprise functionality is called KAI Banking on Messaging, which uses natural language processing, speech recognition and artificial intelligence. With it, banks can let consumers can make banking queries, predict needs and check on their previous spending. Read more

The Proxy Bot: a powerful bot testing tool

When developing a cross-platform bot, one of the most frustrating challenges is the difficulty in testing the bot in-channel across multiple channels (such as Slack, fbm, Telegram etc). In-channel testing enables the developer to instantly review the end-user experience, speeding up the iterative dev-test bot lifecycle. This problem is even more acute for cross-platform bots since the testing has to be done on multiple messaging channels. Read more

What we learned from bots, before they were cool

Long before Messenger, Whatsapp and Telegram came on the scene, SMS was the most intimate way for a brand to reach a customer. And we must give credit to the brands that had the foresight to experiment with a new technology across this personal communication channel.

In light of the current chatbot revolution, I want to share some key insights developers learned from those early days building bots. Read more

The bot revolution: How conversational interfaces will replace apps

We’re at the cusp of a sharp rise in devices that have no screen but do have conversational voice controls, such as the Amazon Echo. Smart home and Internet-of-things (IoT) objects that respond to users’ voices will improve and become more intuitive with further iterations and wider adoption.

Already they can, for example, dim the lights in a room and play a favorite song. With practice, and, by the virtues of machine learning, these user experiences will become ever more intuitive, capable, and innate.

Beyond the IoT, brands are seeing bots as a new type of media – one that can be harnessed to expand a company’s reach to new customers and networks. As brands use bots more and more to handle customer interactions, make recommendations, and help fulfill requests, those brands and the bots themselves also absorb insights about customer behaviors and needs. Read more

Yahoo Radar is a mobile travel guide with a chatbot-like assistant

Yahoo this morning launched a new travel guide for iOS it’s calling Yahoo Radar. While the app will offer traditional travel companion type features like restaurant recommendations and details on popular attractions, landmarks, and other sights in a given city, the app will be more useful to those who use Yahoo Mail as their primary email client. It also heavily relies on a chatbot-like interface which feels more experimental than practical at this time. Read more