October 15,2018 By Justin McDonald

AI Chatbots: What the Market Should Be Asking

Current State of Affairs

I’m challenged to find a newsfeed or social network not inundated by the latest spin of AI, Chatbots or the derivates thereunto. With each passing month, companies are getting exponentially more savvy with the deployment of Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) – a subset of NLP- to solve legitimate market needs. As you’ve undoubtedly seen, there are no shortage of organizations pursuing innovation in the space, with ML algorithms becoming smarter, more intuitive and conversational in nature, with the ultimate objective of having a human feel that accounts for context. IBM’s Watson, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Lex are leading the way, with niche players emerging from the woodwork daily. The market is in a Skunk Works innovation race, but we believe the missing piece isn’t the most sophisticated NLP or conversational AI – it’s more practical and pervasive in nature. A gaping hole attempted to be mitigated by integration. I highlight this market deficiency below and shed light on what we believe to be the solution.

Chatbots and the Impact on Global Markets

According to a 2018 Spiceworks study, over 40% of large businesses currently use or will use an intelligent Chatbot by 2019. The implications and use cases are far and wide, but most center around customer engagement. Sales Enablement, Customer Support, Virtual Assistants, and Business Processes Collaboration (e.g. Slack bots) are the most common deployment variants, with the greatest tangible ROI revolving around customer support and revenue generation. Organizations are also utilizing conversational AI to enhance the customer experience –not just in communication with a customer, but to augment the agent or representative with suggested responses to enrich the customer experience and training process. Ultimately, the greatest usage of Chatbots revolves around “Website Live Chat” to drive enhanced business process, sales acceleration and customer support. I could spend hours discussing the B2B or B2C benefits and use cases, but the data speaks for itself and AI driven Chatbots are the future. Buyers demand instant gratification and immediate service. It’s the world in which we live. I have disdain for this premise and the impact on our children, but as a corporate executive, we must meet this standard to thrive in the market place. Having an asset that delivers a consistent experience that never sleeps (with the right AI configuration), drives a hard bargain. There’s no shortage of organizations pursuing this crown jewel, but are they missing a key component to AI delivery?

The missing piece and chasing integration

Businesses are spending millions to develop the most conversational AI chatbots through ML and NLP, the relative success of course dependent upon the data that feeds each algorithm, but what about the fluidity, delivery and propagation of the AI? Who’s focused on delivering this brilliant digital technology to the largest possible audience with the least amount of friction? Companies are in a race to train their platforms to mirror human interaction, more efficiently handle customer support, accelerate sales revenue through better lead qualification and intelligent sales engagement, but what about the distribution aspect of a Chatbot? The answer by the majority has been an integration strategy. Whether Sales Chatbots, Legacy IVR, SMS relay, Customer Support bots, or Financial bots, most are limited in reach in correlation with the business’s owned domains or by the developing party’s integration efforts (limited and varied by AI vendor). What if chatbots weren’t limited by the extent of an organizations integration resources or partner efforts? What about a consistent metaphor that can provide the greatest possible digital reach for the respective chatbot? For example, IBM’s Watson Assistant touts Wordpress integration, a great feature, but only 27% of the internet utilizes a Wordpress ecosystem (Wordpress estimate) and it still requires a semi-technical integration (plug-in). The majority of the major market players deploy a variety of API integrations with a focus on the largest social networks (FB, Twitter, Slack, Whats App, etc.), marketing platforms and consumer ecosystems, but social channels are changing daily and not every consumer utilizes the respective messaging medium even if on the network (E.g. Most have Facebook, but many disallow the messenger for privacy reasons). Net Net – organizations need a more simple, powerful and agile method to deploy AI and Chatbots. The digital landscape is perpetually evolving and chasing the integration strategy is strenuous, difficult and will always limit an organizations true market reach (B2B or B2C). What if a business could embed their AI Chatbot anywhere on the internet, with no exceptions? What if large and small chatbot players didn’t have to invest resources in playing catch-up to the latest and greatest integration requests? What would that do for AI viability, new use case opportunities and revenue generation?

Omni-Presence for AI Chatbots

Enter RambleChat. As we’ve watched the market invest heavily in the development of the best AI powered chatbots, RambleChat capitalized on a different strategy – leveraging existing chatbot technology and tearing down the proverbial brick wall that hinders their potential value. Ramble architected a dynamic front-end that could be connected to any AI chatbot – old or new, legacy or cutting edge, for any segment, use case, market or engagement method. Agnostic if you will - and immensely powerful. Through Ramble’s patent pending Single Click Chat (SSC) – also known as “Universal Link-Invoked Omni- Channel Chat, Voice, and Video”, our foresight presented an opportunity to supercharge any and all AI Chatbot technologies to empower businesses with an unprecedented digital reach. No longer dependent upon costly integrations, owned assets, or popular platforms, with RambleChat an organization or bot developer can extend the reach of their AI beyond their tradition limits and integrations. It means engaging buyers, customers, markets and use cases traditionally off limits. It opens a Pandora’s box of possibilities that we as a company have yet to find an end. Mobile Apps, Digital Advertising, Social Media Platforms, Sales Proposals, Proprietary Software Platforms & Ecosystems, E-Commerce Sites, Financial Applications, all the way down to Email Campaigns or a QR Code. Wherever a URL or Link can be displayed, we have the ability to extend a chatbot through our lightning fast, powerful front-end. We create fluidity, immediacy and utilization unmatched without the technology. Of course, we are biased, but that doesn’t mean we are incorrect.

In closing, please don’t hear me say integrations are bad. They are not. Some integrations are necessary and beneficial, but solely distributing AI via integrations is a costly, losing battle. They limit value because they limit reach and agility. If a business can’t correctly engage with a buyer, customer or market, with immediacy, then the power of the AI is greatly diminished. Our goal was to help AI developers and users of said technology to move beyond omni-channel, and over to omni-presence. We’ve achieved that and welcome folks on both sides of the AI fence to reach out…..to chat of course! https://ramble.chat/ramble