AI chatbots – what are the pros and cons of this major technological advance?
Written by: Nigel Howle

While AI can perform life-saving tasks, such as algorithms analysing medical images like X-rays, scans and ultrasounds, its fast-growing capabilities and increasingly widespread use have raised concerns.

AI apps have gone viral on social media sites, with users posting fake images of celebrities and politicians, and students using ChatGPT and other “language learning models” to generate university-grade essays.

AI systems involve the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines – but is there a risk they might develop to the point they exceed human control?

There are fears about so-called deepfakes. An example of this could be where someone’s face is changed to resemble another person.  This could then be used for propaganda purposes, for example, to make it seemed that a trusted celebrity or a news reader had spoken words spreading disinformation on the war in Ukraine.
In May 2023, a fake film of an explosion close to the US Pentagon building, the headquarters building of the United States Department of Defence, went viral on social media.
But there’s also many upsides to chatbots.

In an online demo, OpenAI president Greg Brockman showed how GPT-4 could quickly come up with the proper income tax deduction after being fed lots of tax code – something he couldn’t work out himself.

Meanwhile, the website Sprout Social says chatbots could help companies to improve customer experiences. While no robot can replace a diligent customer service professional. They can quickly handle the frequently asked questions that eat into your team’s time and leave less time for more pressing customer support needs.

Sprout Social say: A customer service chatbot is a conversational commerce tool that provides customer assistance via text chat, voice command or both. Brands implement these chatbots on their websites and social messaging platforms like Facebook and Twitter DMs.

Self-service options like chatbots empower customers to problem solve on-demand so that reps can focus on more complex support needs.

One example of smart chatbot use can be seen when customers order pizza from well-known brand, Domino’s. Bots are used repeatedly to answer questions like “when will my pizza be delivered?”

The Salesforce Research State of the Connected Customer Report said 76% of contact centres surveyed said they leveraged chatbot technologies in their organisations.

Using chatbots yielded several benefits for organisations. About 51% said chatbots reduce customer call time, and 50% said chatbots have a smooth handoff to human representatives. About 44% said that the tech deflects calls and reduces the workload, while 28% said it helped them improve key metrics, such as average time to answer and customer satisfaction.



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