Iron man’s assistant, J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System), could be available to all of us in the future based on how chatbots make a headway. J.A.R.V.I.S. evolved from a conversational computer system to an artificial intelligence system integrated with diverse technologies to perform various tasks that a human assistant would do and much more. J.A.R.V.I.S. always felt more like a human assistant than a computer system because of its way of speech and use of context during a conversation. This could be implemented in the near future that could take the human-machine interaction to a whole new level.
A chatbot is a computer program or an AI system which conducts a conversation with a human. Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and IBM have been extensively working on their respective chatbots to follow their customers since the technology started to reach a usable level of maturity. Existing systems are still struggling to recognize simple words and commands and do not engage in a conversation flow. To build a human-like conversational experience, AI algorithms powering a chatbot must process a massive amount of data and interactions. AI-powered conversational interfaces such as Google Assistant, Facebook Messenger bots, XiaoIce, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana are generating data required to make systems smarter with every use.
In May 2018, Google showed off a new capability of Google Assistant – Google Duplex. This technology conducts natural conversations to carry out real-world tasks over phone. It can complete specific certain tasks such as scheduling an appointment; The system makes conversational experiences very realistic..
Microsoft has been testing a social chatbot named XiaoIce (Chinese for “little Bing”), designed for Chinese users. The technology allows people to have a conversation with an AI-powered chatbot. The experience is as natural as talking to a friend over a phone call. XiaoIce has the ability to pause a conversation and perform an activity such as turning on a light; it remembers to get back to the conversation from where it left off.
Granted in 2018, Google patent US9947319B1, titled “Forming chatbot output based on user state”, describes the generation of natural language output by a chatbot based on the context of previous conversations with a user based on the user’s state. The chatbot determines the user’s state based on the conversations and stores it for further conversations with this user.
US20180052826A1, filed by Microsoft and titled “Conversational chatbot for translated speech conversations”, relates to understanding a user’s request received by a chatbot over a call through speech recognition. The chatbot then responds to the user in the same language over the call in which the user’s request is received. US20180131643A1 is another application filed by Microsoft and titled “Application context-aware chatbots”. It describes techniques to generate output from a chatbot based on context developed through conversations with a user.
IBM’s patent application US20180025726A1, titled “Creating coordinated multi-chatbots using natural dialogues by means of knowledge base”, relates to a system that enables a user to create a group chat with chatbots for conversations.
The potential benefit of chatbots are the ability to provide 24/7 services such as instant responding to user queries, doing tasks that disinterest human workers, providing detailed answers or explanations that even a normal human being might miss and eliminating language barrier issues. The chatbots clearly are useful for being able to provide real-time and on-demand experience that every human being craves.
(Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from https://www.flickr.com/photos/kapowaz/1580676746)