Professional Arguments Over Chatbots Are Something All Businesses Must Prepare For

SeaKnight By SeaKnight, 29th Jun 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

As a new technology, almost any chatbot has the potential to create a bit of a stir, drama or outrage. Businesses will need to ensure their bot meets the marketing claims, is safe to use and offers sound advice, or else they can expect to find themselves answering some uncomfortable questions.

Chatbots Will Generate Plenty of Backchat

Having written recently about the need for Chatbots to provide trust and value, a classic case has hit the headlines with the claims of a medical bot vendor coming under question from medical professionals.

The Babylon AI chatbot sat a MRCGP test for doctors and scored 81%, while the average result for trainee GPS was 72%, based on average scores from recent years. But, can a medical bot that does well sitting a test replace a real GP with years of skills and experience? There’s also the issue of what the patient will feel when faced by a bot in the near future.

Certainly, in a decade or less, we may all be used to dealing with AI medical agents. But for now, the early steps will be need to be carefully managed to avoid or minimise clashes between authorities, vested interests, unions and trade bodies that will seek any opportunity to protect the status quo.

Another bot technology making waves is Google’s bot Duplex calling service, the one that sounds like a human voice with requisite pauses and natural cadence in speech. Now in trials it clearly identifies itself as a bot, something that any type of AI interface will have to do to prevent people calling foul.

Get Ready for Chatbot Pushback

These types of argument will face any company, especially those in health, finance, advanced sales and other types of market. In some cases, people simply won’t want to be sold a luxury car, a property or a holiday upgrade by a chatbot, they are used to and expect the personal touch, especially as the ticket price rises.

However, if you’ve ever seen the arguments people put up taking quite mundane items, such as clothing or groceries back to the store, it is easy to imagine a few people putting chatbots to the sword, regardless of service.

Between the two extremes, most users want a chatbot that provides a good service, gives them the results they were after quickly. Also, as bots become a regular part of consumers’ digital lives, they will want bots that recall previous conversations or can pick up where you left off.

Businesses must thoroughly test and train their bots to be up to standard, with a human backstop available if a conversation doesn’t end in a satisfactory manner.

Protecting the Bot and the User

People will also be concerned over security. Primarily to ensure they are dealing with a genuine business chatbot, and not one might be looking to steal information (either financial, marketing or personal). Also, to ensure that the chat is stored in a safe and encrypted manner, deleted promptly and meets usual data protection norms.

For the overall user experience, customers will never want to see error messages or failure codes when something goes wrong at a technical level. Businesses should always be prepared to pull their bot offline if there is a major connectivity or other issue. While at the simplest level, bots should have resizeable text or window sizes to cater for all types of eyesight and visual impairment.

Businesses will need to put these guarantees up front and in plain sight.

One of the key benefits of a chatbot is that it can easily be updated or learn from past mistakes, unlike other tech that has left companies and users in a crisis when things have gone very wrong.

Chatbot specialist SnatchBot is a vendor firmly focused on a positive and clear customer experience. It has taken a clear lead in its approach to the, focused on user rights, privacy and data protection.

While specific chatbot legislation isn’t in place yet, existing data and business transaction law, and your own’ industry’s guidance for customer services will set a bedrock for best practices. See “” from Social Media Law Bulletin for further advice.

Making a bulletproof chatbot might be impossible, but ensuring the best possible experience from the outset should only see your company’s bot in the headlines for the right reasons.


Business, Chatbots, Performance, Trust, Value

Meet the author

author avatar SeaKnight
Tech writer focused on how it can change the world, for better or worse

Share this page

moderator Peter B. Giblett moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?