Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we have discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we take a light-hearted approach to chatbots and how they’re being integrated in business and in everyday activities.

Illustration by Dorathe Victor

You may know a chatbot as a program or software that’s been designed to converse with a user on the internet to get a specific task done or to fulfill a request, but you’d be surprised at how much more there is to learn about these mysterious programs. What started off as an overambitious experiment by a bunch of eager scientists back in 1966—which most of their peers considered a novelty act—is now an application that is being implemented in day-to-day activities with the intention of improving quality of life.

Chatbot technology has certainly come a long way since the 60s. According to a Comm100 report, 39% of all online chats involve chatbots. Modern chatbots have evolved to serve purposes beyond what they were initially created for. Of course, there are familiar chatbots used by businesses to alleviate their employees from mundane and repetitive tasks, but have you ever heard of chatbots that can cure loneliness? The Woebot can help fill that void in your life by engaging you in meaningful conversation and even provide therapy when requested. This may sound a bit far-fetched but don’t just take our word for it: Here are five worthy reads on the functionality of chatbots.

1. Chatbots: What is it and why is it important

Modern chatbots are AI-fueled platforms that require large inputs of data through natural language processing and machine learning. Not only are they cost-effective but organizations that use their services find that chatbots effectively cater to an ever-increasing demand for customer experience by providing around-the-clock service, shorter wait times, and personalized experiences. Learn more about the capabilities of chatbots, their advantages, disadvantages, and the future of chatbot technology in this article.

2. Why your next co-worker could be a bot

If you’re reading this from the comfort of your office, then take a good look at the person sitting next to you; one day, you may turn and look only to find a chatbot interface staring back at you with a nondescript “How can I be of assistance?” message plastered on the screen. Chatbots that replace mundane human tasks are often a welcome change for organizations, granting their employees spare time for tasks involving creativity, problem solving, and personal interaction. In this story, the author points out the value that bots bring to an organization and brings attention to the coexistence of bots and humans to deliver better outcomes.

3. Top 10 recent chatbots to make a note of in 2021

Here’s a quick statistic for you: 1.4 billion people use chatbots today, which goes to show that 1.4 billion people have opened their mind to the chatbot experience and are finding it easier to get certain tasks done through them. Even the world’s biggest companies have opened up to the idea of chatbots working with humans and are currently implementing best-in-class chatbot technology in their workflow. In this story, the author lists the 10 best chatbots being used in 2021.

4. How chatbots in healthcare are transforming the patient experience

AI is revolutionizing the healthcare industry in more ways than was thought possible in the recent past. From handling tasks such as maintaining patient records and doing hygiene checks, present-day AI chatbots are scheduling appointments, assisting with online payment handing, and, in some cases, even providing mental health assistance for patients with PTSD, anxiety, or depression. Many people with social anxiety would agree that this is less stressful than having to go to an office and recount private details about your life to a stranger. In this article, the author writes about the advantages of chatbots in healthcare along with use cases.

5. 23 jaw-dropping chatbot statistics you need to know in 2021

Did you know that a chatbot is capable of cutting customer service costs by 30%? Or that the first chatbot was invented almost two decades before the internet? In this article, you’ll come across many insightful facts about chatbots that you might not have previously known.

It’s safe to say that when it comes to social and business interactions, there can be no replacement for human personalization and emotion, but bot technology is developing fast enough to come in at a close second. Take Zoho’s AI assistant Zia, for example. Having been recognized by The Forrester New Wave as an affordable chatbot option, Zia uses chatbot technology that easily integrates with ManageEngine’s on-premises solutions. Not only are chatbots being used to lessen the burden of employees but they’re also performing tasks that can only be executed by professionally trained therapists, leading us to believe that the distant future we see in sci-fi movies may not be so distant after all.

David Simon
Marketing Analyst