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Chatbots – Revamping Our Interactions With Technology

The Three Laws of Robotics:

1: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;
2: A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law;
3: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law;

The Zeroth Law: A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

 Isaac AsimovI, Robotisaac asimov

 Remember the last time you were confused about selection on a website and that friendly caring customer service representative solved your query over a chat? Wasn’t he so understanding and human? Well, we have news for you. He might have been understanding, but chances are that he wasn’t human, you probably chatted with a chatbot.

A  chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, chatterbox, Artificial Conversational Entity) are programs that give human-like responses to the individuals over chat. In the situations where interactions become repetitive, for example – customer chat support, this task can be delegated to them instead of humans.

Related Article: Bring Home Pillo, Your Personal Health Robot

As a science fiction writer, Issac Asimov perhaps was able to peek deeper into the future than most of the people. He had imagined robots that would give human-like responses, and now we have chatbots.

Chatbots are mechanized in such a way that they pull out the necessary information from the human input and refine it to provide the most appropriate solutions. Chatbots are very successful in solving many repeat queries by clients and prospective customers on several sites, especially the shopping websites. You just need to tell the bot about your requirements and it will help you find out the best results based on your questions. The best benefit with the chatbots is that the whole information is conveyed in the question-answer format. Human will type the question and the bot will give the

You already know about Siri, Apple’s sexy-voiced AI assistant. And, probably about Watson too, a question-answering computer, that was fed with encyclopedias, Wikipedia, and books, and is still being fed with various information that answers questions. However, there are much more such machine assistants you interact with in your daily lives without knowing that they are actually a bot. Unknowingly, you might have chatted with many chatbots such as Assist, Dubsmash, Uber on Messenger, Operator, Cleverbot, Pyro, HealthTap, M, Sonar and the likes. And, you thought you were chatting with a person, amazing isn’t it???

iPhone’s Chatbot Siri

Apart from the e-commerce sites and social media pages, chatbots have also been contributing in the educational domain. Chatbots are programmed to answer the queries of the students. The question of the student is taken as an input by the chatbot. The program runs behind the scenes to provide the best answer to the question.

Related Article: Israeli Startup Develops a Content Writing Robot

The future of the chatbots is definitely bright. Every human being wants to make rational decisions, but we are bound to make wrong decisions based on emotional grounds, or due to stress, boredom or fatigue. The chatbots and the humanoid robots can come in handy in such situations. The humanoid robots can help in making the right decisions and can help us get rid of the mundane repetitive stuff so that we can give more time to bigger and more important things.

However, there is a flip side to the coin.

Chatbots have invaded many sites where human interaction is desirable, for instance, dating sites or messenger chat rooms. These automated programs are designed to hawk commercial services and websites, thus preventing actual humans from joining them. It is a nuisance considering that people want to talk to actual humans.

Also, another threat that scientists foresee is that as their (chatbots’) intelligence would develop, we might see more complexities.

As two different human beings will react to the same situation in a different way based on their knowledge, skill, and experience, two highly evolved chatbots may act differently under different situations. That is when things start becoming interesting as well as dangerous, just as Asimov had expressed the possibility in “I, Robot” – his iconic novel – where a robot commits a murder, and there is a possibility of evil entering a rational machine.

Scientists fear that one day the bots might try to take over the world, and we as humans might struggle to survive.

However, that’s a long time to come, if it ever does. Meanwhile, companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are betting heavily on bots and artificial intelligence to change the way customers interact with brands.

Also Read: Photon: A Budding Robot for kids

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The Author

gaurav bharadwaj

gaurav bharadwaj

A writer by skill and a storyteller by passion. Writer of tech, business and film blogs, Gaurav is always after those unique angles that make news a story worth sharing.

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