With the term conversational AI we refer to those technologies, such as chatbots with which users can interact in a natural and personalised way.
Conversational AI uses machine learning and sophisticated algorithms to recognise speech and text input, process large amounts of data and reproduce the natural language of humans.
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What is conversational AI
It is first and foremost the topic of the moment: for months, we have been talking about the possibilities offered by this type of AI in the consumer and business spheres. In concrete terms, however, what is it and what is it for? Let’s find out together.
Differences with chatbots
In the beginning there were chatbots, computer programmes or more commonly digital assistants (such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant), capable of simulating natural human conversations. However, chatbots, distributed via the web, apps and other channels, had limitations.
Although capable of understanding queries, they lacked the high-level intelligence present in more advanced AI, such as ChatGPT. Conversational AI in fact differs from chatbots in a few simple characteristics, let’s see them.
Users provide input of all kinds, upload files and perform actions that the AI is able to understand, learn and remember and then provide relevant outputs.
Input is data and, like all data, requires being decoded, combined and interpreted. AI can do all this in a few tenths of a second, chatbots cannot.
To be understandable, AI outputs are provided in the form of natural language (NL). The process of identifying the correct intent of a request and formulating a response is called, in technical jargon, natural language understanding (NLU).
Learning by reinforcement
The algorithms refine their responses by learning from the environment and the interlocutor. This makes it possible to improve accuracy and ensure ever higher standards.
If, therefore, chatbots only respond to certain inputs (usually textual or vocal), have a reduced capacity for analysis, answer users’ questions automatically and by default, and fail to adapt to the most unexpected situations because they do not learn, conversational AI can be considered a true synthetic brain.
How conversational AI works
Conversational artificial intelligence is the sum of three technologies: AI, instant messaging applications and voice recognition.
The first step involves the validation of natural language: i.e. the AI detects any spelling or pronunciation errors, sifts through synonyms, interprets grammar, recognises communicative intent and extrapolates the most relevant information.
The AI is also able to improve itself by interacting with the interlocutor and analysing the context; this allows it not only to increase its knowledge, but also to modulate its communication to offer a more personalised UX.
For example, a domestic AI will learn our habits: how to adjust the lights at home, when to make coffee, what level to set the volume of the stereo in the living room, etc. The AI, in short, needs to know us.
Benefits for companies
Conversational AI improves business processes, optimising costs and increasing benefits. Less time wasted means, in fact, giving workers the opportunity to concentrate only on what is really important with less stress. Conversational artificial intelligence opens up new scenarios and, in particular, provides benefits such as:
Benefits for users
A user dealing with an advanced conversational artificial intelligence feels:
Privacy and AI
If conversational AI applications are poorly designed, run the risk of being hacked, exposing sensitive user data to potential theft. To avoid damage to customers and the company’s image, it is therefore necessary to choose excellent and GDPR compliant solutions, such as those developed by PMF Research.
PMF Research is an ICT research centre, belonging to the JO Group cluster of companies and specialised in the development of advanced AI applications.
For more information, please call us or fill in the contact form at the bottom of this article.
The case of ChatGPT
ChatGPT, where GPT stands for “Generative Pretrained Transformer”, is a conversational model developed by OpenAI that is capable of engaging highly complex conversations. It is based on samples of texts taken from the Internet (books, newspaper articles and web pages) that enable it to make its syntax indistinguishable from human syntax, in several languages.
ChatGPT is so accurate and contextually relevant that it admits its mistakes, corrects incorrect premises and states when it is unable to answer a question.
If asked vague or approximate questions about emotions, ChatGPT is trained to avoid misunderstandings by declaring that it does not have feelings like human beings
Will conversational artificial intelligence apps, such as ChatGPT, steal our jobs?
Especially those in creative jobs, such as journalists and copywriters, or more technical jobs, such as programmers (ChatGPT also writes code), may feel threatened by such sophisticated AI. However, there is no need to panic.
It is the OpenAI foundation itself that states that ChatGPT can make mistakes and provide inaccurate information. It is therefore impossible to know how the conversational artificial intelligences scattered around the web will evolve, but they are undoubtedly already revolutionising the market and our lives.