Bots in the Enterprise

“Why should we care about bots?” This was just one of the key questions Tyler Singletary posed to Slack’s Amir Shevat during their fireside chat about “Bots in the Enterprise.” The two had an enlightening conversation that covered everything from the purpose of bots, to challenges, to how bots will impact human jobs in the future.

Through their discussion Amir noted there are two types of conversations as they relate to bots: topical conversation (which need lots of language processing) or task-led (which focus on making a purchase). Bots in the enterprise will mostly be task-led he noted, focusing on buttons & choices, not on processing actual conversations which requires greater AI capabilities.

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Bots serve the purpose of exposing a brand to the user to ensure they have what was described as a “delightful engagement”. But what exactly does this mean? Amir notes that the engagement needs to be personal, not intrusive, and giving the right service to the end user. Another key set of considerations for bots in the enterprise are all around the attributes of the bot itself: brands should think about the “environment” (is the purpose of the bot for work or commerce), “gender” (most languages other than english only have only “he” or “she” gender specific tenses), and “personality” (a sassy tone might make sense for a consumer brand but might not be as relevant for a bank).

Amir went on to discuss how the current challenge with bots is not a lack of engagement per se, but rather a lack of awareness that people can and should engage with bots. In his opinion, they need not a giant volume of bots to choose from or engage with, but rather high quality bots which provide a great experience.

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