A chatbot is a software application which uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to converse with and to understand humans. Through understanding what a user says, the aim of a chatbot is to help the user in reaching an end goal, for example, making a purchase on a website, or to simply answer questions that a user may have.
So, a user might say to a particular chatbot. For example, ‘Can you help me?’
This user input would trigger an intent. An intent defines a user’s end goal for one conversation, or in other words, what the users wants. This intent may be called ‘Help’. This intent has training phrases, and the user input was most similar to the training phrases for the ‘Help’ intent. Hence, the help intent was triggered, and the appropriate response was given to the user.
As you might imagine, chatbots are extremely helpful to many industries: healthcare, retail, education, finance and news.
Chatbots save human time on answering basic queries, dealing with basic requests, and allowing humans to spend more time on other tasks which may be important.
Let’s explore the use case of a chatbot in healthcare. Let’s say someone isn’t feeling very well, and the waiting time to speak to a doctor is several hours. However, the healthcare provider has an chatbot on their website. This chatbot can converse with users to understand their illness and can suggest medical advice until a doctor is available. This person then converses with the healthcare chatbot, describing their symptoms to the chatbot, and receives some medical advice too. They are able to follow this advice until a doctor becomes available, or perhaps, are able to improve their health using this advice.
Chatbots are becoming increasingly advanced and efficient, and as a result, are being more widely used in today’s world.