Empathetic machines favored by skeptics but might creep out believers

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In a study, the researchers reported that people preferred receiving sympathetic and empathetic responses from a chatbot -- a machine programmed to simulate a conversation -- than receiving a response from a machine without emotions, said S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory. People express sympathy when they feel compassion for a person, whereas they express empathy when they are actually feeling the same emotions of the other person, said Sundar. As healthcare providers look for ways to cut costs and improve service, he added these findings could help developers create conversational technologies that encourage people to share information about their physical and mental health states, for example. "Increasingly, as we have more and more chatbots and more AI-driven conversational agents in our midst," said Sundar. "And, as more people begin to turn to their smart speaker or chatbot on a health forum for advice, or for social and emotional support, the question becomes: To what extent should these chatbots and smart speakers express human-like emotions?"


3 Things Companies Overlook When Deploying Chatbots

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AI-enhanced computer programs able to hold audio or text-based conversations that simulate convincingly how a human would interact… Whatever you want to call these code-based dialoguers, they are taking the enterprise by storm. From marketing, customer service, and e-commerce bots helping people purchase everything from flowers to flights, to workforce productivity'manager' bots delivering reminders, deadlines, and tips tailored to individual employees… companies are deploying bots to serve all manner of objectives. Such initiatives are also a common entry point for enterprise adoption of machine learning, but they are also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the opportunities and the risks of and artificial intelligence (AI). What follows are three areas companies often overlook when deploying chatbots. Chatbots are now being used by brands for service interactions, including simple outreach, education, feedback and survey collection, questions and answers (Q&A), tips and advice, etc.


The Rise of Chatbots and AI Assistants

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Welcome to the world where messaging apps are slowly becoming new platforms of convenience and customers expect to unlock a universe of information using only their voice. Today 6 out of the top 10 mobile apps are messaging apps. Over a third of customers prefer social media over telephone conversations for customer support. Over1 billion messages are sent between people and businesses every month on Facebook Messenger. The rise of messaging apps, social media, mobility, cloud, the Internet of Things, and landmark breakthroughs in machine learning, natural language processing, and cutting edge technologies like neural networks have revolutionized the way consumers interact with devices.


Conversational Banking Will Transform the Financial Services Industry

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Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and the surging popularity of messaging apps, conversational interfaces are enabling unprecedented banking engagement and re-establishing relationship banking. Chatbots are a simple, lightweight solution to a host of legacy banking problems, giving progressive banks and credit unions a competitive industry edge. The arrival of the digital age has disrupted the retail banking industry and altered the relationship between banks and their customers. Where banking once meant interacting with customers in brick-and-mortar branches, new digital banking channels like websites and mobile apps have opened an entirely new way to reach customers and do business. Online and mobile banking have allowed banks to reach customers more easily and frequently, and have given customers unprecedented access to their financial information.


Understanding AI Chatbots, Challenges, Opportunities & Beyond

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Artificial intelligence is changing the way we search and get things done and Chatbots are the real example of human aspiration to get rid of doing things which doesn't excites them much. Recently I have been learning a lot of about AI powered chatbots and got quite fascinated by amazing things it can do without involving humans. There are chatbots which can talk you like your girlfriend /boyfriend. There are weather chatbots like Poncho The Weather Cat which can tell what's weather outside in flash of a second without requiring you to type. The most popular use case of chatbots have been on the enterprise side customer support.