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Is it really good to click on online help and receive responses from robots?

Editor's note: The development of artificial intelligence technology is constantly changing people's way of life and work, and it has to some extent promoted the development and progress of society, which is beyond doubt. But artificial intelligence is not omnipotent, because machines do not possess human thinking and emotions. When you open the online help window on a website and only find that the answer is a cold robot, you may be very disappointed.

In April 2016, Mark Zuckerberg described a bright future for developers on Messenger at Facebook's F8 conference and announced a new era of "chatting with robots like friends.". Developers from all over the world, certified by major companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, claim that the era of independent mobile applications is over and celebrate the arrival of new ways - Conversational Commerce and Chatbots. Eleven months ago, Facebook announced that its official chatbot "M" had a 70% AI failure rate in beta testing. Subsequently, Facebook updated its platform and recommended developers to develop lighter applications in Messenger while disabling session input.

We have always known two things about The first thing is that AI is really difficult, and it will take many years to achieve 100% communication between robots and humans like friends. After all, robots cannot resonate like humans. Secondly, Facebook consumers will not send messages to a business just because they want to shop or are interested in the weather. These experiences are based on the premise of having chatbots, and also require industry data support that has expanded from the field of information transmission to the field of social networks.

What Facebook users really want is to be able to quickly receive a response from the merchant when there are issues.

The main reason consumers send messages to merchants on Facebook is to obtain services. Everything else is just floating clouds. This interactive pre-sale may start with customer inquiries, and timely responses can drive the transaction forward. If customers contact sales customer service, it is usually because they really have problems and need to consult customer service. Some answers can be answered by robots, while more complex problems can be handed over to humans to solve. With powerful tools, human recovery speed can rival that of robots.

However, many robot developers do not focus their attention on the most demanding part, but instead seek to create new user experiences or redevelop and upgrade old concepts about chatbots. If robot developers feel that the participation rate is low, it may not be because AI failed, but because they are guiding consumers towards a path they didn't want to take from the beginning. Without utilizing existing consumer behavior patterns and training robots to respond to customer needs, the role of AI is only to achieve the creative experience imagined by robot developers and guide consumers to interact through that experience.

Facebook now recommends that robot developers completely disable session input.

I personally do not believe that disabling chat input as suggested by Facebook is the correct solution to address the technical limitations of AI and NLP. Communication robots without dialogue ability are acceptable to news robots, and the experience is driven by notifications and content consumption. However, if it is a service-oriented business, it is necessary to provide users with a platform that can interact with you in a friendly manner. If text input is the main way for Messenger, it will limit the customer's willingness and initiative to communicate, and force them to seek other ways of customer service that you can imagine, or simply delay replies, which will make the customer even more disappointed. Think about IVR, how many times do you need to press "0" after listening to menu options.

The business world should adopt a combination of automated and manual methods to meet the needs of Facebook users.

WeChat mini programs in China are integrated into message interaction, which satisfies developers' expectations for chatbots. However, this is a cultural phenomenon in the East, while Western companies should first utilize existing consumer behavior and better utilize such behavior data. If you are not a fan of the concept that chatbots will replace human services, but rather stick to your initial commitment to customers, then introducing such technology can help you strengthen communication with customers. If you can meet the expectations of Facebook consumers now, over time, you can also add new features and lead consumers in the direction you expect. You are likely to meet their needs in the end.