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The rapid growth of the Communication and Technology industry across the globe has been pushing with it the growth of various new technologies which are changing the ways enterprises across industries work. The focus of players across IT industry towards offering advanced solutions which can deliver better outcomes for customers has been increasing as competition in this industry continues to get intense. Huge investments are streaming into this industry both from industry players and from various companies which seek to leverage the potential the technologies of the future hold. Artificial Intelligence is one such technology which is witnessing an impressive penetration into business processes across various industry verticals. According to a report by Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence, titled Healthcare Artificial Intelligence Market, the market for Healthcare Artificial Intelligence was valued at US$ 0.836 billion in 2016 and it is expected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 46.02% to reach a total market size of US$ 8.1 billion by 2022. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence across other industry verticals is also anticipated to remain solid as key players continue to invest in innovation while enhancing the level of personalization, attractiveness, and affordability of solutions. Investments are being pumped into both Artificial Narrow Intelligence, which emphasizes on an execution of specific tasks by the machine and Artificial General Intelligence, in which the machine is meant to execute all the tasks that humans can do. However, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) has not seen as much commercialization of solutions as Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) has. One of the famous ANI solutions includes Amazon’s Alexa, the brain behind solutions like Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot and Echo Plus which responds to questions asked by the users through Natural Language Processing and continuous learning. Facebook, Netflix, StitchFix and many other solutions are also available to the users worldwide, which are adding to the value of Artificial Intelligence.
Chatbots are one of the many solutions based on Artificial Intelligence. Chatbots, as the term suggests, are software (bots) or agents that are capable of communicating with humans over a platform. A simple chatbot can respond to user’s queries and/or perform appropriate actions like answering questions, playing music, placing orders, making reservations and others as part of their response. Continuous advancements in technology have brought us past that stage where chatbots communicated with users only through voice and/or text. Today, chatbots interact with users via graphical interfaces or graphical widgets. Web views are allowed on famous chat platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and various others, which allow the developers to create a variety of completely customized graphical interfaces. Still, vendors in this market are offering all three types of chatbots to their customers: scripted chatbots, intelligent chatbots and chatbot applications. The behavior of scripted chatbots is determined by rules and they can only follow predetermined paths. Intelligent chatbots use advanced Artificial Intelligence techniques to improve their flexible in terms of the type of inputs the user can give. Chatbots applications are the scripted or intelligent chatbots with Graphical User Interface (GUI).
These advancements have been fueling the popularity of chatbots not only among individuals, but also among businesses. A report by Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence, titled Global Chatbots Market - Forecasts from 2018 to 2023, shows that the global market for chatbots was valued at US$ 163.34 million in 2017 and is expected to reach US$895.27 in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 32.78% over the forecast period. Enterprises are contributing significantly to the market growth and this trend is anticipated to continue as chatbots continue to penetrate into various business processes. According to the Facebook Messaging Survey, 2016, 56% of the respondents said that they would rather message than call customer service and 67% of the total respondents said that they expect to message businesses even more in the next two years. Among the primary reasons stated by the respondents for using Facebook messenger for business, convenience held a clear majority with 69% votes. For people, staying up-to-date and increased ease of making payments using a messaging app matters. In conjunction to this, ease of asking businesses questions, making or confirming appointments, making purchases, providing feedback and other benefits, can also be seen steering people towards Facebook messenger for business. In order to manage this massive interest of people in communicating with businesses via messaging apps, the demand for chatbots among is increasing.
For business owners, chatbots are opening doors to immense growth opportunities that had been lying locked underneath the conventional human-to-human communication methods. In comparison to email marketing, which offers an open rate between 5%-10%, and social media marketing, where the reach of organic posts is limited to 0%-1% due to aggressive spam filters, marketing on Facebook messenger offers a much impressive open rate. As a result, large enterprises and even small and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets are realizing the benefits of chatbots and are drifting rapidly towards them, thus contributing to the growth of this market.