Chatbots, tireless virtual assistants


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Chatbots don’t have timetables, they don’t sleep or take vacations, and they’re available to answer any question with a smile (at least that’s what we imagine). We’re talking about chatbots, virtual assistants or conversational robots based on Artificial Intelligence

Some of them have names and they even have become members of our family, such as the omnipresent Siri by Apple. Since mobile phones have made the jump to the realm of banking, there has been a total revolution in client interaction, resolving common problems through the simplest way: talking.

The way we communicate with each other has evolved, and so how we interact with our bank. Clients don’t want to go to the bank. Clients try to start conversations or make consultations the same way they open WhatsApp and other messaging apps. Banks have made the move and now account for 24/7 chatbots. Their success has been undeniable. 35% of consultations made by millennials are carried out this way. It’s a fact, the future of virtual assistance includes the term “bot

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that is capable of holding a conversation to inquire about any kind of information or make various actions. For example, when it comes to banking, chatbots allow us to check our balance and transaction history, recover a password, look up the closest branch or review information on a mortgage. The chatbot simulates a conversation using natural language to respond to common questions and doubts.

More and more companies in all realms of business are relying on conversational robots when dealing with their clients. According to Gartner consulting, 85% of client interactions will be conducted without human interaction in 2020. Markets and Markets, another consulting firm, estimates that the business of chatbots is going to multiply by four from its current turn over figure in the next 4 years, from 650 million Euros to 2,730 million in 2021.

Hello chatbots! Goodbye apps!

Despite the level of the chatbot’s development still being a bit rough, Artificial Intelligence has positioned itself as the main ally of the customer-client, a field destined to be continuously reinvented along with the society for which it serves. Chatbot Chocolate, an agency specialized in developing chatbots, affirms that there are five fields which will be affected by this “re-evolution”: banking, e-commerce, tourism, health, and business management. 

Santander Bank, a model in banking

Businesses make successful use of chatbots as a good way to reduce costs, improve customer service and increase sales. They do so by properly equipping the virtual world to newer generations. Santander Bank realizes this. They were a pioneer in deploying an assistant based on the Artificial Intelligence IBM Watson. Being at disposal of the bank employees, this service attends to any question related to world of insurance.  

Step by step, the enterprise run by Ana Botín seeks to incorporate new functionalities, such as a chatbot connected to Siri which allows ordering wire transfers in the UK. The entity relies on 24-hour assistance service via chat and it has resolved in a year more than one million consultations, showing that bots have a lot to say and listen to

It is a“conversation”that not only improves customer service, but also helps promote competitive ness and ability to save money for those whose goal it is to get started. According to Juniper Research, the increasing number of chatbots used in businesses will represent in 2021 a reduction of 8,000 million dollars every year. So it isn’t strange that Gartner estimates that by 2021 more than 50% of companies will have invested more on creating chatbots than developing mobile Apps. 

Eliza, the first one

Despite that the development of the chatbot is closely related to machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, chatbots first appeared more than 50 years ago. The first chatbot functioned as a sort of “psychotherapist” and was created by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966 at the Technological Institute of Massachusetts. Its name was Eliza and it was a really simple system which failed to recognize any key words and conversations became meaningless.

It was not until 6 years later when Parry was born, a bot of Stanford University in California. It simulated a patient with schizophrenia. Perry was eventually able to “communicate” with Eliza on multiple occasions through Arpanet. Since then, we can find names such as Jabberwacky, Alice and Watson up until Siri arrived in 2010, which came to represent a real evolution and a model to be followed. The list continues to grow and now includes well-known names: Alexa, Cortana or Jarvis, the assistant of Marc Zuckerberg with the voice of Morgan Freeman.

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