A chatbot, in its most basic definition, is a computer program that simulates and processes human dialogue (written or spoken) in order to allow humans to communicate with digital devices in a manner analogous to that of conversing with a real person.
A chatbot could be as basic as software that provides a one-line response to a question, or it could be as complex as a digital assistant that, over time, learns and adapts to provide ever-greater levels of personalization based on the data it collects and processes.
You may have already communicated with a chatbot without even realizing it. Let’s say you’re doing some online product research when suddenly a window appears on your screen asking if you need any assistance. Or maybe you’re heading out to a concert and want to arrange a rideshare through a chat app on your smartphone.
Or maybe you’ve ordered a cup of coffee using your voice and then been told when it would be available and how much it will cost. All of these are potential situations in which you might interact with a chatbot.
Value of Using Chatbots
Without the need for human intervention, chatbots can help consumers quickly locate the answers to their inquiries using text input, audio input, or both.
The smart speakers in the house and the business messaging apps are just two places where you can find chatbot technology today. Chatbots powered by cutting-edge AI is sometimes called “virtual assistants” or “virtual agents.” Siri, Google Now, and Amazon Alexa all take voice commands, and you can also send them text messages.
In either case, you can ask the chatbot conversational questions about your needs, and it will respond with information and further questions to narrow your search.
How Do Chatbots Work?
Chatbots have come a long way from their text-based ancestors, which were only able to respond to a small range of predetermined questions with answers prepared by their creators. They functioned similarly to an interactive FAQ, and while they excelled at recognizing and responding to the questions and answers with which they had been programmed, they fell short when asked something more sophisticated or unexpected.
Chatbots have evolved over time to incorporate additional rules and natural language processing, allowing for a more conversational experience for the end user. In fact, modern chatbots understand their surroundings and improve their linguistic skills with practice.
Modern AI chatbots utilize NLU to understand what the user is trying to accomplish. Then, they employ cutting-edge AI tools to figure out the user’s goals.
To refine their knowledge bases of questions and answers based on user interactions, these technologies utilize machine learning and deep learning, both of which are components of AI with some subtle distinctions. They’ll be better able to anticipate user wants and provide appropriate responses as a result.
If a user inquires as to whether or not it will rain the following day, a conventional chatbot can provide a straightforward answer. However, a chatbot built on artificial intelligence might also ask if the user wants to wake up earlier to compensate for the longer commute (caused by rain).
AI Chatbots, According to Bill Gates, Will Be Used to Instruct Children in Reading Within the Next 18 Months
In the near future, AI could assist in education and help your children succeed academically.
Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates claims that in only 18 months, AI chatbots will be helping kids learn to read and improve their writing skills.
Gates said in a keynote address at Tuesday’s ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego that “the AIs will get to that ability, to be as good a tutor as any human ever could.”
Artificial intelligence chatbots have advanced dramatically over the past few months, with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard now competing with human-level intelligence on certain standardized exams. This expansion has prompted both hope for the technology’s future and concern about its repercussions.
Gates is definitely one of the impressed crowd. Chatbots of today have “incredible fluency at being able to read and write,” he said, and will soon be able to help kids improve their own reading and writing in ways that technology has never been able to before.
“At first, we’ll be most stunned by how it helps with reading — being a reading research assistant — and giving you feedback on writing,” Gates said.
Gates pointed out that it has historically been very challenging for computers to learn how to teach writing skills. Essay feedback is a “high-cognitive exercise” in which teachers evaluate factors such as narrative organization and clarity of text, which is “tough” for developers to emulate in code.
However, those who advocate for AI chatbots argue that this dynamic will shift once they learn to recognize and reproduce human-like language.
Kevin Roose, a tech columnist for the New York Times, recently noted that he has already utilized systems like ChatGPT to better his writing by making use of the AI’s streamlined access to online style rules.
Some professors have praised chatbots for their ability to summarize and comment on texts, and even to compose entire essays.
Although academics acknowledge the potential benefits of this technology, they caution that it is still in its infancy and may unintentionally introduce major errors or misinformation. For AI to become an effective tutor, it needs to get better at understanding and reproducing human language, Gates argued.
Gates predicted that artificial intelligence would become an invaluable teaching tool within the next 18 months. “And then they’ll boost our mathematical capabilities.”
It may come as a surprise that reading and writing are where chatbots will shine before mathematics. Creating AI typically requires the use of algebra and calculus.
Experts point out that chatbots have difficulty with mathematical calculations because they are taught on big datasets. The chatbot will be able to answer your math question if it is one that has already been answered in the datasets it was trained on. Finding its own answer, though, is a different matter entirely.
According to Gates, he frequently questions Microsoft’s AI developers about the inability of chatbots to execute basic arithmetic operations like multiplication. In order to tackle the complexities of mathematical computation, AI needs to develop its reasoning capabilities.
Although it could take a while, Gates is confident that improvements in technology will be made, most likely within two years. Then, it could help a large number of students who otherwise couldn’t afford private tutoring be able to take advantage of it.
That doesn’t mean anything will cost you. Although both ChatGPT and Bing are available for free at the moment, in February, ChatGPT introduced a premium version with additional features for $20 per month.
Even yet, Gates claims it will be less expensive and easier to obtain than private tutoring with a human teacher.
He responded, “This ought to even things out.” Hiring a tutor, especially one who can learn from your past work and provide feedback, is out of reach financially for many students.
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