As 2022 came to a close, ChatGPT was on nearly everybody's mind. Never before had there been an AI chatbot with an online presence quite so powerful. What's more, the hype around the software has only grown more powerful since it made its original debut.
But how much of that hype was grounded in reality? What exactly is an AI chatbot? And what can this technology do for your eCommerce business?
An AI chatbot is exactly what it sounds like. It's a chatbot that leverages conversational AI — a multidisciplinary approach that combines natural language processing, natural language understanding, and natural language generation with machine learning. More sophisticated AI chatbots are typically capable of parsing the sentiment, context, and intent of a query then responding in a way that imitates real conversation.
Using ChatGPT as an example, chatbots are capable of performing a wide range of different tasks, including, but not limited to:
AI Chatbots are essentially just Chatbots driven by more sophisticated algorithms. While an ordinary chatbot is built on a rigid ruleset and must follow a pre-programmed conversational flow, an AI chatbot has a great deal more freedom in terms of what inputs it accepts and how it can respond. There is a trade-off, however.
While you don't exactly need to train a regular chatbot, an AI-powered chatbot will typically need to ingest massive volumes of data in order to develop its algorithms. This also means, however, that the AI bot is capable of learning and improving with time. The regular chatbot remains relatively static, neither changing nor adapting on its own.
Within the context of eCommerce, the benefits of AI chatbots include:
For all the hype, AI chatbots aren't perfect. There's even some debate as to whether or not they constitute true artificial intelligence — one computer scientist went so far as to describe them as a very sophisticated form of autocomplete. What's more, if an AI chatbot is improperly or poorly trained, you could be looking at a range of problems including:
AI Chatbots also lack true emotional intelligence, and are generally incapable of performing creative tasks or thinking critically and independently on a topic.
It's important that you understand the limitations of the technology prior to using it. There can be little doubt that the technology underlying software like ChatGPT is incredibly powerful. If you use it correctly, it can be immensely beneficial.
However, it's not the holy grail that everyone is making it out to be, and it's important that you see through the hype.