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Hackernoon logoChatbots: The end of the hype era or a bright new dawn? by@maria-lobanova

Chatbots: The end of the hype era or a bright new dawn?

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@maria-lobanovaMaria Lobanova

Journalist, crypto enthusiast

We live in an age of great innovation and technological marvel. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies are developing at an insanely fast pace, which resulted in the slightly increased performance of digital applications. A few years ago, chatbots formed a new, highly popular trend and have consistently been regarded as the best potential help for the labor market, slightly reducing the need for staff workload. The chatbot sector is now growing fast, and the total market is predicted to reach around 1.25 billion US dollars in 2025, a significant increase from the market size in 2016, which stood at $190.8 million. While becoming more sophisticated over the years, AI-driven bots are being used more often in various fields: marketing, healthcare, CRM [Customer Relationship Management]. This hypetrain resulted in more efficient solutions and brighter light at the end of the tunnel.

The market is still hot

Today, the trend is still going strong: chatbots are being developed in many countries, and there is no shortage of substantial investments.

Marketing is, of course, king. Chatbots always look cool on presentation slides, but their interface and effectiveness sometimes can be unsatisfying, confusing, and their efficiency is far less impressive than what the brightly colored commercials tell you. But when commercial noise is out of the equation, the numbers can offer surprisingly strong statistics.

Chris Messina, a former Google employee and the inventor of hashtags, believes chatbots will be a new round of technological evolution:

“The era of applications is coming to an end, and companies are panicking. How to make money if people do not download applications? One of the options is to find users where they already are - in messengers."

Back in 2018, a finance bot named Charlie gathered a $9 million investment for service development. The fact is, by that time the overall audience has reached 250,000 users (mostly female) with a monthly growth rate of 30%!

One of the most outstanding examples in this area is the Indian firm Reliance Industries, which is shifting from its classic business - oil and textiles - to the digital industry with its “Jio” mobile brand. The company has since acquired 87% of the AI chat platform Haptik Inc. for a staggering $100 million!

The data from Transparency Market Research forecasts show a sharp increase of the chatbot market - since 2015, it had risen from $133 million and is expected to reach almost a $1 billion milestone by 2024. Another study performed by Grand View stated that the chatbot market is expected to reach a mark of $1.25 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 24.3%!

In a world where applications driven by AI are becoming the standard in services and commerce, top global companies are starting to use chatbots to improve customer loyalty and brand competitiveness. Some of the major firms include eBay, Alibaba, Amazon, and many others.

The fact is that businesses worldwide want to use chatbots. An Oracle survey indicates that 80% of businesses plan to adopt this technology very soon - by 2020. Companies such as Nitro Café, Sephora, Coca Cola, Snap Travel, and Marriott have significantly improved their businesses having already implemented chatbot technology.

The mighty power of the bot

The most advanced chatbots powered by artificial intelligence are helping humanity in several areas nowadays. AI-driven technology helps understand the complex requests, personalize and enhance responses, all while improving interactions for users. 

This technology helps outsource manual workload and non-judgmental tasks to save human staff workload, time, effort, and money. By using chatbots, companies can be more oriented on skilled staff and more complex tasks.

The benefits are becoming clearer as chatbot use cases expand. Chatbots are becoming a vital part of businesses, because they make the differences in many ways.

With less human work involved, and resources to automate a vast portion of customer support services, chatbot technology is predicted to reduce costs in the coming years - CNBC forecasts amazing cuts of up to $8 billion per year by 2022.

The chatbot price can range anywhere between $30,000 to $500,000, or even more depending on the complexity of the task, although the investments are definitely worthwhile in the long run.

The bot made by the transit company Amtrak helped to save as much as $1 million in just one year! Amtrak also reported an 800% return on investment after launch.

Meanwhile, one of the major cable operators, Charter, used the support chatbot Alme that helped in a 44% cost reduction in a single year. It even brought a 500% return on investment in half a year!

Bot-driven future

The modern market includes the usage of a chatbot for all sorts of assistance, education, customer service, and other fields. The recent Juniper Research infographic on chatbots in the banking and healthcare sectors reveals numerous benefits, such as the fact that the average time saved per chatbot inquiry compared with traditional call centers is four minutes. Multiply that number by thousands of calls and you see the incredible potential quite clearly. 

Still, the market is maturing, and there are a lot of successful examples that prove bots can provide a decent degree of intelligence. One of the areas that bots proved to be very efficient in was the crypto market, a newly born segment of the financial arena that has a lot of issues to deal with. A few of the most significant problems are lack of transparency and an over-complicated process of market entry. Several companies, however, have taken steps to address those issues. For example, Cryptohopper is a trading bot that offers some unique and interesting features, such as cloud trading, social trading options, and a large variety of coins/exchanges to trade with.  

Another popular solution is Haasbot’s algorithmic trading software. Created In January 2014 by Haasonline, this trading bot is popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, allowing them to trade BTC and over 500 altcoins on many major exchanges, including fully automated trades on platforms such as Kraken, BTCC, GDAX, Poloniex, Bitfinex, Gemini, Huobi, and many more. 

“Many of the features contained within Haasbot Trading Platform exist out of a need to address common challenges that arise with standard trading practices. Several of these features, in fact, are a direct result of our community's feedback,” says Haasbot team.

Meanwhile, Gunbot is one of the most advanced crypto trading bots on the market, which provides a wide range of settings and strategies that are ideal for both beginners and professionals. 

Meanwhile, Chatex has created a bot to provide the most convenient way to manage digital assets. The privacy and reliability of all transactions are secured by advanced private-ranking grade anti-fraud and PIN-code technology. Chatex works equally well in all popular messengers like Telegram, Viber, Facebook, Line, Kik, and KakaoTalk; use your favorite or several of them at once.

"Chatbot is the simplest solution which helps greatly in many areas of our work and routine. I do not believe in rumors: the hype around this technology is not over. The fact is, the community of people willing to buy or transfer digital assets grows every day, and the solutions offered by crypto exchanges are way too over complicated. The society needs a convenient, reliable, and easy-to-use tool. We developed Chatex to offer everyone an easy entry into the global world of digital finance - all you need is already installed on your phone: a messenger,"

says Michael Ross-Johnson, СEO Chatex.

Your little digital helpers are here to stay

As mentioned above, the main features of chatbots are the ability to save money for large companies and keep clients happy; chatting with the chatbot takes less time, and there is no waiting for a response because a chatbot is available 24/7.

Despite chatbots sometimes being regarded as an overhyped technology, most realistic scenarios indicate that the bots will inevitably take on the role of being the first line of technical support. Along with the further development of its technology, resolving the most common situations or giving tips on how to solve the problem yourself will also be an AI-driven solution. 

There are and will be issues of course, but one thing is obvious: chatbots have been created to help. By its very essence, this technology opens up access to the new market opportunities by encouraging scalable, one-on-one conversations between brands and consumers. Creating a world where companies are building stronger relationships with their clientele is definitely worth it. There is no doubt that in the foreseeable future, chatbots will ultimately become what they had been designed to - an irreplaceable assistant for humanity.


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