Chatbots: AI’s First True Use Case For Enterprise Mobility

Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt
Posted: 01/16/2018

For several years, digital assistants have been available on our mobile devices – specifically smartphones and smartwatches with voice commands – and have slowly changed the way end users consume information or accomplish tasks.

That technology, artificial intelligence, is nothing new, of course. Computers and machines solving problems and responding to their human counterparts has been going on for decades. But now, as technology becomes the landscape, rather than just a piece of it, the use of AI and machine learning in the enterprise is growing steadily. Additionally, there are already some real world use cases of AI progressing how we accomplish work in the enterprise, specifically through our mobile devices.

See related: The Emergence Of Chatbots In The Enterprise

This is where chatbots come into play, and how they’re reshaping enterprise workflows outwardly. The implementation of chatbots may not necessarily change the way an employee does his or daily tasks, rather, takes entire processes off their plate to concentrate on other needs.

Chatbots can now encapsulate both voice and messaging technologies and have built-in data sets that purely cut out the human factor, whereas in the past a chatbot would be engaged to begin a conversation before sending the user over to someone – a human – with a complete data set and information before them.

This proves another major benefit for enterprises employing chatbot technologies not to supplant human workflows, rather to enhance overall productivity: reducing operating costs.

According to late 2017 data from Grand View Research, the chatbot market is going to accelerate rapidly, seeing a 24.3% CAGR and reach a $1.25 billion value by 2025.

“A significant rise has been observed in the number of users of messaging services, which is expected to surpass the number of users of social networking sites,” the research suggested. “Additionally there has been a significant development in the NLP field, which has resulted in streamlined interactions between computers and human languages. The entire chatbot ecosystem comprises various cross-linking features, which facilitates enhanced performance of chatbots in all applications. Most companies prefer in-built chatbots on their websites as they facilitated enterprises in providing instant customer interaction.”

See related: 7 Essential AI Terms: What Do They Mean?

Further, the research showed, chatbots are ready-made to be integrated with burgeoning technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

“Technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and APIs, among others, are evolving at rapid speed,” the research said. “Chatbots are integrated with these technologies to offer enhanced operations, thereby driving market demand. Artificial intelligence and audio speech-based chatbots are expected to account for the largest market share in the future.”

Clearly chatbots are on the move, and account for just one subset of the artificial intelligence market. Adoption, however seems to be moving slowly, but is expected to skyrocket sooner than later. According to a recent report from Gartner, just four-percent of CIOs in 2017 described themselves as having artificial intelligence in action in their organizations. However, six in 25 – or 24% - say they’re either piloting or have AI in their short-term plans, and another 20% claiming it’s in their mid-term plans.

Chatbots are here, and gaining traction. AI has been here for a while, and tech giants are now properly delineating the data needed to make it work for good. As enterprise mobility continues to pervade the workplace, the technologies that come along with it are going to be changing the way we work for the better – and it’s all happening sooner than later. 

Jason Koestenblatt
Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt