What is an AI chatbot? Introducing the mechanism, typical functions, and usage scenes

Chatbots that automatically respond to questions from users can be roughly divided into two types: AI-equipped and non-AI-equipped.

Among them, AI chatbots, which are equipped with AI, can read the content and intentions of users’ questions using a machine learning mechanism, and can answer in natural sentences. Unlike non-AI chatbots, there is no need to prepare a scenario before system implementation, and the advantage is that the accuracy of answers improves as data accumulates.

“Chat GPT” announced by OpenAI in December 2022 is also a type of AI chatbot. It has become a hot topic in countries around the world because it can obtain answers to all kinds of questions with a level of accuracy that is almost the same as that of humans, and has impressed the rapid evolution of AI. Now that the range of responses is rapidly expanding, there will be room for AI chatbots to be used in all areas of business.

For example, a large site or enterprise that needs to handle a large number of inquiries may be better off with an AI chatbot than a non-AI one. However, there are disadvantages such as high initial costs and the inability to fully control the content of responses, so it is important to carefully compare and consider.

In this article, we will introduce the mechanism of AI chatbots, typical functions, and usage scenarios.

AI chatbot

Table of Contents

What is an AI chatbot?

What is an AI chatbot?

A chatbot is a system that automatically obtains an answer by a robot when you ask a question on a chat installed on a company’s official website or app. The AI ​​chatbot is a system that incorporates the mechanism of AI machine learning.

When a user poses a question to the chatbot, the answer to the question is automatically returned. Unlike inquiries by phone or email, there is no waiting time to get an answer, which leads to improved customer satisfaction .

By encouraging customers to use AI chatbots for simple questions that can be answered by robots, companies can reduce the time spent on customer support by phone or email .

AI chatbot mechanism

AI chatbots have two mechanisms: machine learning and natural language processing .

Machine learning is a technology that allows machines to automatically learn past questions and conversation logs. Natural pre- and post-processing refers to technology that allows machines to process words handled by humans.

When a user asks a question to the chatbot, the intent of the question is interpreted from the extracted keywords and phrases with high importance. After that, the machine automatically prepares an appropriate answer by searching for and combining appropriate answers according to the question .

In order to improve the accuracy of AI chatbots, a huge amount of information must be input. Depending on the AI ​​chatbot tool provided by the company, there are cases where a certain amount of machine learning has already been completed at the time of service provision, or templates that can improve answer accuracy are prepared.

Difference between AI type and rule-based type

Chatbots can be roughly divided into two types: AI type and rule-based type. There is a big difference between the two in how the system is built.

A rule-based chatbot is a system that displays answers according to a designed scenario . For example, in response to the question “How long will it take before installation?”, you can set the appropriate answer manually in advance, such as displaying the answer “Immediately after signing the contract.”

When you actually ask a question in the chat, a “Yes / No” answer or choice will be displayed. After narrowing down the intention of the user’s question little by little, it presents the final solution. It is an image that users themselves approach the answers they seek.

In the case of AI chatbots, rather than companies preparing scenarios, machine learning is used to make AI memorize questions and appropriate answers . By repeating the learning many times, the accuracy of the answers gradually increases, and the user can reach the answer with the minimum number of questions.

Advantages and disadvantages of AI chatbots

Here, we will introduce the advantages and disadvantages of AI chatbots.

Advantages of AI chatbots

The advantages of AI chatbots are:

  • Can answer complex questions
  • Easy to get along with because you can have conversations like people
  • Unlike the rule-based type, there is no need to prepare a precise scenario

The AI ​​chatbot is equipped with machine learning technology and can remember words other than the set words. It can automatically predict new words based on preset words. As a result, it can handle complex questions that humans use .

Another feature is that machine learning can determine the intention of the question to some extent . Therefore, unlike the rule-based type, it is no longer necessary to create a precise scenario such as “registering all greeting patterns”.

Disadvantages of AI chatbots

Disadvantages of AI chatbots are as follows.

  • It may not be possible to answer questions if the learning period is short
  • Inappropriate answers may be remembered
  • High-precision AI chatbots tend to be expensive to introduce

AI doesn’t always make the right decisions. Misrecognition during machine learning may lead to complaints with inappropriate answers . Therefore, it is necessary to regularly monitor the operation of the AI ​​chatbot and verify if there are any problems.

Typical functions of AI chatbots

The main features of AI chatbots are as follows.

  1. Answers to natural sentences
  2. Understanding fluctuations in expression
  3. FAQ linkage
  4. Suggest function
  5. Manned function
  6. External system linkage

I will explain each function in detail.

1. Answers to natural sentences

Natural sentences refer to sentences that are natural to humans, such as spoken language.

The AI ​​chatbot can read the intention of the question from the meaning and word order of the words contained in the sentence. Therefore, regardless of the form of the question, even if it is a natural sentence, it is possible to understand the intention and give an appropriate response .

2. Understanding fluctuations in expression

The AI ​​chatbot absorbs questions and improves accuracy by repeating chat interactions. . It is characterized by learning by absorbing fluctuations in expressions and typos.

For example, words such as “smartphone ≒ smartphone” and “moving ≒ moving ≒ moving” are expressed differently depending on the person. AI chatbots can accurately judge such differences. In particular, the ability to accurately recognize fluctuations in expressions is the area where the performance of the AI ​​engine is most apparent.

3. FAQ linkage

FAQ linkage is a function that allows you to display a list of answers during chat by registering FAQs in the system database. For example, in response to the question “How much does it cost?”, you can direct the user to the appropriate page by saying, “Please see the price list page.”

The number of FAQs that can be registered in the database varies depending on the AI ​​chatbot tool. Basically, the more people you can register, the more likely it is that you will be able to provide an appropriate answer .

4. Suggest function

The suggestion function is a function that displays suggestions (related words) each time you type one character during chat.

For example, just by typing up to “mail”, suggestions such as “cannot send mail” or “cannot receive mail” will be displayed. With the suggestion function, users can reach the information they want more efficiently .

5. Manned support function

The manned response function is a function that displays a message such as “An operator will respond” on the screen during chat.

Even if AI is capable of natural language processing, it cannot answer all questions. If the user does not receive an answer, the user will have to make another inquiry by phone or email, which is a double effort. In the worst case, there is a possibility that the user will flow to another company’s service.

For this reason, complex questions that cannot be answered in a fixed form require a manned response . An AI chatbot tool with a manned response function can switch to an operator when the AI ​​fails to answer.

6. External system linkage

Some AI chatbot tools can be linked with external systems. Systems that can be linked are email delivery systems, shopping carts, CRM (customer management systems), and SFA (sales support systems). include

For example, by linking with CRM, chat conversations can be accumulated in a customer database, and optimal proposals and approaches can be made based on user attributes and behavior history.

Another method is to build an AI chatbot dedicated to the back office by linking with the in-house inventory management system and personnel management system. You will be able to automatically answer questions that are sent to the back office within your organization, such as inventory confirmation and vacation requests.

Utilization scene of AI chatbot

Utilization scene of AI chatbot

AI chatbots are being used not only for customer service, but also in various business scenes. Using AI chatbots at multiple sites will further increase cost effectiveness. Specific usage scenarios are as follows.

Customer support

By installing an AI chatbot on your website or EC site, it can be used as customer support.

Many of the inquiries received by customer support are simple questions that can be answered by checking the FAQ page. If there is an AI chatbot inquiry window in addition to telephone and email, congestion at the window can be avoided by guiding users to chat. .

If it becomes possible to respond to many inquiries on the chat, it will lead to labor saving and reduction of labor costs as a result .

Service reservation acceptance

By linking the reservation management system and AI chatbot, it is possible to automatically accept reservations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When using a chatbot for reservation reception, design a scenario for the date and time you want to reserve and the course options. This allows users to complete the reservation process by simply selecting items.

In addition, by utilizing AI machine learning and natural language processing mechanisms, it is possible to read the intention of the question from any text entered by the user and respond appropriately .

Sales Promotion

AI chatbots are also used to promote sales of products and services. For example, AI provides individual product information through conversations with users on chat AI can

A representative example of sales promotion using AI chatbots is UNIQLO IQ, a shopping assistant provided by UNIQLO.

With UNIQLO IQ, if the user cannot find the product they want, they can select categories such as “wearing scene” and “product characteristics” from the dedicated app, and tap the options according to the AI’s question. In the end, it is a system that proposes products in the form of “recommendations for you”.

By having AI learn from inquiries actually received by store staff and information gathered from customers, we are improving the accuracy of proposing appropriate products.

In-house help desk

AI chatbots can be used not only outside the company but also as internal systems. One example is the introduction of AI chatbots for internal inquiries to management departments such as general affairs and personnel labor and information system departments.

The in-house help desk is a point of contact that handles inquiries from within the company, such as responding to questions about how to operate the system and investigating the cause of system errors. At the in-house help desk, the level of knowledge varies depending on the person in charge, so the work tends to depend on the individual, and the quality of response tends to be uneven.

Therefore, an AI chatbot that can automatically answer employee questions is effective. By improving the accuracy of answers based on learning data such as work manuals and knowledge, the number of issues that employees can solve on their own will increase .

How to introduce an AI chatbot

The general flow of introducing an AI chatbot is as follows.

  1. Appoint a person in charge of operation and management
  2. Clarify the purpose of introducing an AI chatbot based on the issues your company is facing
  3. Choose a platform to deploy, such as a website or app
  4. Prepare materials for AI to learn, such as FAQs and industry glossaries
  5. Decide when to introduce and budget
  6. Compare and consider AI chatbot tools that suit your purpose and budget

If you want to introduce an AI chatbot without spending time, or if you want to introduce a system with a certain degree of accuracy from the beginning, we recommend using a dedicated tool. With an AI chatbot tool, you can start operation immediately just by implementing the system.

When introducing a tool, check operability and functionality with a free trial it is a good idea to check the operability and functionality with a free trial. If you understand the specifications of the tool in advance, you can prevent mismatches after installation.

In addition, the system will be made in-house and an AI chatbot will be built. method is toSpecific methods include utilizing internal human resources, using open sources, and outsourcing to external AI engineers.

Let’s use AI chatbot by imagining the usage

Due to the development of technology and machine technology, AI is being used in a wide range of business scenes. Using AI chatbots as one means of doing so is expected to improve operational efficiency and productivity.

Unlike non-AI chatbots, AI chatbots do not require scenario design, minimizing the time and effort required for introduction. However, it takes time to improve the response accuracy, so it is important to assume a medium- to long-term operation schedule.

In addition to customer support, AI chatbots are also used in a variety of situations, such as help desks and reservation reception. Let’s use AI chatbot effectively by imagining the use and purpose concretely.

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