Whether you call them conversational agents, dialog systems, or chatbots, AI-powered bots that can hold human-like conversations are seeping into our everyday lives.
Chatbots work well in a structured environment with a predetermined dataset. Answering simple questions, for example, would be a task a chatbot could excel at. Which is why chatbots are now replacing the Frequently Asked Questions page on websites.
Here’s what you need to know about how these chatbots work and why you might never see a traditional FAQ page again:
Chatbots can be either retrieval-based or generative, which means they can either retrieve data from a predetermined dataset or generate new responses from scratch. These bots can also be open or closed domain, depending on whether the user can take the conversation anywhere and still expect a reply or whether a user needs to stick to a narrow set of inputs. The length of the responses also plays a key role in the structure of these bots.
While retrieval-based open domain chatbots would require an unrealistic number of inputs, generative open domain models would be on par with Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). At the moment, chatbots are exceedingly good at retrieving short responses based on a closed domain. This means chatbots are now ready to answer specific questions within a narrow field.
This makes them perfect for responding to questions visitors and customers might have on a certain subject. Asking a question such as, “When does the next train leave?” or “Where is the closest Indian restaurant?” is likely to yield better results than an open-ended question like “Describe Indian food,” or “How comfortable is a train journey?”
Precision is key and chatbots are good at offering precise answers to predetermined questions. Q&As, are thus the natural format for chatbots.
Q&As are naturally rule-based and chatbots can adapt to them quickly. Not only does this require minimum coding, but the datasets needed to train the machine are usually already at hand. Questions and answers are often found on websites in the form of FAQ sections. This data can be used to create a chatbot that answers any questions a user (usually a customer or site visitor) may have.
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