Before there were computers, we could distinguish persons from non-persons on the basis of an ability to participate in conversations. But now, we have hybrids operating between person and non-persons with whom we can talk in ordinary language.” (Colby 1999). Chatbots is human machine conversation used by simulate conversation with user in which the user input natural language and generate responses that sent back to the user, its often happen over the internet. Chatbots are powered by rule-driven engines or artificial intelligence (AI) engines that interact with user via a text-based interface. In the recent year with the improvement in technology chatbots becoming voice-based assistance.
Nowadays chatbots word seems as buzzword and trendy word. However, chatbot was introduced before personal computer was developed. In 1966, chatbot was developed by Joseph Weizenbaum at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and chatbot was named Eliza. It was impersonate a psychotherapist. Eliza examined the inputs of the user and generated the rules of transformation of the output. Even these days when building chatbots, this methodology of generating responses is broadly used. In 1995, A.L.I.C.E was inspired by Eliza and developed by Richard Wallace. A.L.I.C.E failed to pass the Turing test but it is one of the strongest kind of chatbot. In the first decade of 21st century, ActiveBuddy Inc. built the SmarterChild. It was the first chatbot that able to provide the user with more useful information. Such as stock information, movie qout, sports score and more. In 2007, it is obtained by Microsoft. Smarterchild is the forerunner of Siri by Apple and Voice by Samsung.
Chatbot applications serve a number of purposes, like customer service, social and emotional support, information, entertainment, and links the user to other people or machines. In specific, chatbots are seen as an alternative to traditional customer service. For customers, conversations with bots may make them feel more natural and efficient than interacting with a mobile application as they can get answers to questions, receive suggestions for purchases, make orders, and keep updated on shipping through a natural language interface. In addition, there are some chatbots serve as virtual assistants, which help users to perform specific tasks. Chatbots as well as may provide other assistance, such as a phone call or online search.
There is a study presented at the 4th International Conference on Internet Science in November, 2017 found reasons why people choose chatbot to interact. According to this research, the main factors that influence people to use chatbots are:
Chatbots is quick and efficient to find and access information.
Chatbots helps spend free time when users have nothing to do, also divert people by giving them funny tips.
Chatbots enhance social experiences. Also chatting with bots help people to avoid loneliness, gives a chance to talk without being judged and increases conversational skills.
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