With artificial intelligence systems quickly gaining popularity and becoming more useful, entrepreneurs and business leaders are beginning to implement the technology into their everyday operations.

Many of companies are finding benefits in AI-driven chatbots, using them to advertise products, drive sales and provide technical support via the Internet.

The History of the Modern Chatbot

The modern chatbot has roots back to the 1950s with Alan Turing’s chatterbot interface, Eliza. It was an extremely rudimentary device by today’s standards, but it showed the potential of future AI technology at a time when the average consumer couldn’t imagine such a concept.

More recently, chatbots are used to greet visitors and provide users with system messages upon entering an online message board. In some cases, they mimic the actions of a human. Chatbots can also be used to automate an entire digital storefront or supplement the activities of a live, full-time staff.

Training the Trainer — or the Chatbot

Think about the most successful trainers, teachers and instructors you know. They wouldn’t be effective unless they were taught the appropriate knowledge. Computers function in a similar manner: a computer is only as good as the information that is put into it.

There are a number of steps to take when training or programming a chatbot. When utilizing the technology for employee training, you should focus on written tests and exams as opposed to hands-on demonstrations and activities that require visual inspection or verification. There are some automated systems that are capable, but they are far more advanced than the chatbots and mainstream AI platforms of today.

You can also use the chatbot to provide supplemental information for your staff members. To minimize recurring problems, you can collect data regarding common bottlenecks, downfalls or shortcomings of your past training programs and tailor the responses and reactions of your AI to address the issues.

There’s also another obstacle: data storage, security and maintenance. Companies that fail to implement a solid master data management plan are now risking as much as a 25 percent reduction in potential revenue gains.

Using AI to Train Your Workforce

Organizations are also embracing AI and chatbot-style platforms to train staff members and onboard new recruits. Today’s AI is so advanced that it’s being used to provide real-time coaching to respond to certain words or phrases, as well as the subtle nuances and fluctuations in our tone of voice.

Chatbots can benefit a training program in a variety of ways. They free up valuable business resources that would be better used elsewhere, and they’re not susceptible to the typical human conditions of emotion, fatigue or error. This ensures consistency throughout your training program, which ultimately makes it easier to follow and absorb.

Machine learning — or deep learning — allows modern chatbots to become smarter and more intelligent as time progresses. It’s still a relatively new concept, but the platforms can develop their own skills and increase both their accuracy and efficiency over time.

Working With Technology

Opponents of AI and automation technology complain about lost jobs, decreased workplace morale and a lack of healthy competition, but when chatbots are used in tandem with skilled human staff members, they can actually bolster staff motivation and lead to greater competitiveness. Their heightened accessibility, accuracy and efficiency make them a great choice for menial tasks such as leading extended training programs and providing basic technical support.

Image by Startup Stock Photos

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about technology and gadgets for Motherboard, MakeUseOf and The Gadget Flow. To read more posts by Kayla, check out her blog Productivity Bytes.