With each new form of technology, there usually comes some trepidation regarding how it will replace humans. Chatbots are no exception. As we head deeper into realms of automated software, should we be concerned that bots will replace the need for humans?
The simple answer is “NO.” However, to really explore the subject, we first have to take a closer look at chatbots and their role in the industry.
Developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning technology are having a profound impact on the way that businesses communicate with customers. A chatbot’s automated functionality helps to resolve customer inquiries quickly and, and in many cases, more efficiently than human interaction.
Studies show that up to eighty percent of customer inquiries in any given industry are repetitive, consistent questions and issues. By employing chatbots, companies are able to lighten the load of call centres, thereby reducing overhead, and inevitably being able to offer their products and services at a lower cost—an attractive option across the board for industries. For example, the SnatchBot platform , which allows users to deploy bots via several means, is able to offer a low subscription price mainly thanks to the use of automated software.
Of course, the use of terms like “reduce” and “automated” immediately strikes a chord with many that an entire workforce might be eliminated in the process—which is a reasonable concern, until one looks at the facts and industry forecasts. So here are four reasons not to be worried about bots replacing humans.
1) We, as humans, are readily adaptable.
Take a look around, and you might notice that despite all of the innovation and progress that’s been made in the last 300 years or so, humans still play a huge role in almost everything. At nearly every turning point since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, novel ideas and new machines have threatened to replace a need for humans, and each time, there were those that resisted the progress—only later to discover that new machines beget new industries that beget not only new jobs but new possibilities.
It’s in our nature to be frightened of the unknown, but forward progress is not the only natural; it’s essential, and humanity has always been able to adapt. Though the full significance of artificial intelligence is as of yet unknown, many tend to jump to the worst conclusions. But if they would just pause and take a look at history, they’d see that humans, on the whole, are quite resilient.
2) Evolution isn’t just for living things.
Humans evolve. Animals evolve. The earth evolves. It’s natural, and in much the same way, industries evolve. Technology evolves. Our methods for doing even the simplest of tasks evolve with them.
Technology that changes the way we do something is often labelled “disruptive,” and with it comes a new set of challenges to surmount—but once we do, we often find that this new way of doing something is better, faster, more efficient, and just plain easier.
One of the easiest examples is to look at the evolution of the telephone. In the not-so-distant past, a phone had to be tethered by a cord to a wall in your home. Now, everyone carries one around in their pocket, and the functionality of modern smartphones are so advanced that it can barely warrant being just called a “phone”!
Elaborating on that example, with cellular technology came new industry—new corporations, cell towers, satellites, hardware developers, software developers, factories, and much, much more. If you’re old enough to remember the dawn of mobile phones, and you were resistant to it, you need only consider how many millions of jobs were created by such a simple evolution.
Still, there’s no way to know what the future will hold, and because of this many are quick to jump to negative conclusions. Regarding artificial intelligence and automated software, however, it’s important to keep in mind that our technology is only as strong as what we as humans apply to it.
3) Evolution takes time, and it’s never certain.
There have been predictions of “robots taking over” since the nineteen-fifties, and even earlier, and although these false prophecies were largely rooted in science fiction, they still represent all of those who worry about technology one-day subjugating humanity. In fact, in the sixties, it was believed that most human functions would be automated within a decade. Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet, even more than fifty years later.
The path to true AI is a steep one, continually ongoing. (Source)
There’s no denying that we’re in something of a technological funnel; developments that would have taken years to develop in the past now take a matter of months or even weeks. Even so, technology takes the time to fully mature, and for automation to reach a point in which it renders all human function and interaction useless is a farfetched notion.
4) We have an innate need for human interaction.
People have a biological need to connect with other people, plain and simple. Even if technology reached a place of being able to replace humans entirely, would we let it? Would we want it to? Human-to-human interaction is deeply ingrained in us.
For instance, at SnatchBot, we envision the world in which humans and bots work together for the betterment of mankind—and in this current climate, the way to do that is by delivering exceptional user experiences. We understand that technology is capable of incredible power and speed, and we strive to harness that to improve the way people do business. However, we equally acknowledge the importance of having a real person available when unforeseen circumstances arise.
One of the big ways in which the SnatchBot platform is improving human relations is by tearing down language barriers with its unique matching learning methodology. SnatchBot allows people who speak different languages to communicate simply by speaking directly to their counterpart without interrupting the conversation, as often happens with text.
With SnatchBot, you can create a bot in your native language and have it translated into any language you want. For example, a company spokesperson in Mexico who speaks Spanish can communicate clearly with his colleagues in China, regardless of a language barrier.
Perhaps best of all, SnatchBot enables you to choose whether you want your process to be fully automated, or to add a human input at any point. For instance, your bot can interact with clients until a question of price or quotes comes up; then, the bot will divert the inquiry to a live person. We implemented this feature because we understand that no matter how much technology advances, the need for human interaction will always be present.
Here at SnatchBot, we see the ways in which bots are being applied today, and it helps us believe they can have an enormously positive influence on relations between people and businesses, no matter how uncertain the future may seem.