I wonder if we like talking to robots. Bots, be it on the phone in chats or other forums, are often our first conversation partners. Will we soon only speak to them instead of real people? Where bots make sense in communication and where humans are indispensable can be read in this blog.
I remember a situation where I tried to contact my mobile phone provider and was almost desperate for the upstream bot. I even yelled at him, but that didn't help, of course, because bots have limited intelligence. Bots are also artificial intelligence and, therefore, nothing else but an algorithm that works with ones and zeros. Usually, Artificial Intelligence works with patterns - this also applies to voice recognition. For example, if you say "invoice" or "contract amendment," a pattern is recognized, and the bot recognizes the topic, what question you have and forwards you accordingly.
Sentiment analysis - is the caller in a good mood?
Things get complicated when the tone of the voice has to be taken into account, with the so-called sentiment analysis. If it is to be identified whether the caller is in a good or bad mood, this is no longer a "word pattern", but the language itself must also be recognized. In texts, this already works quite well. Meanwhile, even software programs identify whether the text is positive, negative, or neutral. These can also be used to write an e-mail yourself and are not sure how the other person will receive the text. In a conversation, this sometimes works. For example, if I, as a customer, call the mobile phone provider and am very annoyed because I have been talking to the bot for a long time, you can analyze this and put it through to an employee more quickly.
A bot is not (yet) empathic
There are areas where it makes sense and makes less sense to use only one robot or one algorithm. If it is about standard topics, there is nothing against the use of artificial intelligence or bots. However, as soon as a matter becomes more complex, we have to realize that communication is necessary, and ideally, this always takes place between humans. Communication is more than just words and information. If I talk to a computer to get information, that's fine. However, suppose I am in an emotional situation and need help. In that case, it makes little sense to talk to a computer that may only recognize positive and negative, but cannot interpret the emotions. He can react to it, but empathy is something that we bots still cannot teach. This is where the question comes into play, whether it is ethically justifiable to do so. In my opinion, it depends entirely on the situation. At some point, there will undoubtedly be someone who will try it, and then we will know if it is a good or bad idea. Of course, it always depends on the person who is talking to the bot. Is it someone who is open to new technology or does not want to speak to a computer? Depending on which factors interact, it will be decided whether "empathic bots" are the future.
Will we soon only talk to bots?
This question brings to mind the statement of many consultants: "Everything that can be digitized will also be digitized. I don't think that's right. However, I am clearly in favor of trying to leave my comfort zone and also like to use bots. But as long as there are people, they will also talk to each other. The language will change, as will tools and communication channels. There are always new possibilities and messengers, but communication is about sounds, information, speech, facial expressions, gestures, body language, and visual perception. In a conversation, I also want to see my counterpart - it is not for nothing that video conferences are increasingly replacing audio panels. In the future, we will certainly speak more with bots in some places, but human communication cannot be replaced entirely.
As long as there is communication, we cannot do without personal contact. So in the future, we will not only talk to bots, although their number is continuously increasing. Standard processes such as orders, making appointments, or requesting information can be handled securely via bots today and in the future. And even conversations that are still conducted in person today will probably be run using artificial intelligence in the future. But we can by no means do without people in our communication - whenever things are emotional, complicated, and outside the standard, we need the personal conversation.
Do you already use bots, or are you planning to do so? Do you have any questions? Would you like to know the advantages and disadvantages of exchange ideas? Then write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.