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Examples of chatbot uses

Chatbot use is on the rise, both in the business and consumer markets. As chatbots get better, consumers have less to quarrel about in interacting with them. Between advanced technology and a societal transition to more passive, text-based communication, chatbots help fill a niche that phone calls used to fill.

Chatbots have been used in instant messaging (IM) applications and online interactive games for many years but have recently segued into business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales and services. Chatbots can be added to a buddy list or provide a single game player with an entity to interact with while awaiting other “live” players. If the bot is sophisticated enough to pass the Turing test, the person may not even know they are interacting with a computer program.

In sales, chatbots are being used to assist consumers shopping online, either by answering noncomplex product questions or providing helpful information that the consumer could later search for, including shipping price and availability. Chatbots are also used in service departments, assisting service agents in answering repetitive requests. Once a conversation gets too complex for a chatbot, it will be transferred to a human service agent.

Chatbots are also in use as virtual assistants — conversational assistants that help people navigate their daily lives. Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft all have forms of virtual assistants; apps, such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, or products, like Amazon’s Echo with Alexa or Google Home, all play the part of personal chatbot.

Top 10 tasks for chatbot virtual assistants
Chatbot-based virtual assistants are typically used for simple tasks.

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