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Thanks to the advancements in natural language processing (NLP), including LaMDA, GPT-3, GPT-Neo, BERT, and large pre-trained transformer-based language models (PLM), conversational AI has achieved state-of-the-art performance on many tasks. In addition, it has fueled a paradigm shift in NLP. This includes text-to-text, text-to-speech, speech-to-text and others.
As per Mordor Intelligence, the global ChatBot (conversational AI or virtual assistant) market is expected to touch $100 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 34.75 percent. Technology has seeped into almost every industry and is changing how businesses and individuals interact and perform everyday tasks.
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The top five industries that benefit from chatbots include banking and finance, travel, real estate, education, and healthcare. In this article, we will discuss the impact of conversational AI, alongside understanding how it is being used across sectors, popular use cases, and more.
BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance)
The banking and financial services sector has been one of the early adopters of conversational AI. A recent study showed that nearly 90 per cent of the banking sector would be automated using chatbots by 2022. Further, it stated that $7.3 billion of the operational cost would be saved using chatbots in the banking sector by 2023. Additionally, 32 per cent of users are willing to leave their current bank for a better digital experience.
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Conversational AI is on top of everyone’s mind, particularly in the BFSI space, where they are looking to enhance customers’ experiences alongside meeting demands and expectations.
However, there are other benefits too. It helps businesses derive insights, improve the bottom line, optimise resources, and more. Because with each conversation, you learn a little more about customers’ likes and dislikes. More importantly, it helps them offer proactive, personalised banking and financial services that boost engagement and increase loyalty.
For instance, in March 2022, the Reserve Bank of India and the National Payment Corporation India (NPCI) launched DigiSaathi. This initiative helps customers address queries in digital payments, including cards. It is available in two languages – English and Hindi. Two years ago, NPCI launched an AI-based chatbot, PAi. This chatbot creates awareness around its products, such as FasTag, RuPay, UPI, and AePS, on a real-time basis.
Last year, Mahindra also launched an industry-first conversational AI chatbot for their CarandBike vertical, for users to know the specifications of any car and bike, prices, comparisons and more. User can also book test drives using this AI Virtual Assistant.
As per Humley, 87 per cent of users prefer to interact with a travel chatbot if it could save them time and money. Conversational AI helps travellers browse flights and hotels, provide budget-based options for travel, and introduce packages and campaigns as per their requirements.
Some popular areas of conversational AI in travel include travel planning, assistance, flight and hotel bookings, recommendations, refunds and cancellations, and more.
For instance, IRCTC and Indian Railway recently released an AI-powered chatbot called ‘AskDisha,’ which answers queries pertaining to various services offered by IRCTC. This virtual assistant also helps user to perform transactions end-to-end, like, to book train ticket, cancel ticket, change boarding station and more, even the payment, of all possible modes (like, UPI, Credit Card, Debit Card, Net Banking, Wallets), also happens in the chatbot In February 2022, the Vietnam tourism department, alongside a private AI firm, developed Chatbot Danang Fantasticity, an automatic tourism information system that offers search and support via text message conversation. Leading Bus Operators, KSRTC and SRS Travels also have launched chatbots with the name Ask Vaani and Ask iRA respectively.
Conversational AI in real estate allows companies to enhance the efficacy of their real estate agents, fast-track deals, increase sales, and, most importantly, help them easily identify opportunities within their leads and more.
Besides this, some other areas include identifying upsell/cross-sell opportunities, making better recommendations, spotting and leveraging real estate trends, recording and analysing calls, and more. In addition, it helps in saving costs, better documentation, and scalability. At present, companies developing conversational AI solutions in real estate help make conversations more searchable, track calls with keywords, measure KPIs to improve customer service and experience, and more.
According to a study by Juniper, over 70 per cent of all chatbots accessed will be retail based. Companies using conversational AI have witnessed massive growth. For instance, nearly 20 per cent of companies saw an increase in their brand loyalty index and customer engagements, alongside a 32 per cent increase in website traffic and online sales, a 25 per cent increase in-store conversions, and nearly 40 per cent of consumers prefer personalised offers and deals from chatbots.
From checking the order status to searching items, tracking numbers, shipping fees, queries about shipping location, complaints and feedback, and returns, conversational AI plays a crucial role in redefining the space.
Indraprastha Gas Limited (backed by GAIL and BPCL) launched ‘Ask Maitri’ a virtual assistant tool that answers questions related to PNG (Portable Nature Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). Consumers can also report gas leaking problem, check and pay the outstanding bill and more. Ask Maitri is now available via Google Business Messages (GBM) as well, in Google Search, Google Map and even in the Android Phone Dialler.
Conversational AI in healthcare has been quite prevalent. As per a report by Market Research Future, approximately 52 per cent of patients said that they acquire health data through the use of healthcare chatbots, and nearly 36 per cent approve of the use of healthcare chatbots in treating their patients.
The most valuable features of using chatbots in healthcare include monitoring, anonymity, personalisation, real-time interaction, and scalability. In 1966, ELIZA was the first chatbot used in healthcare. This chatbot, however, had limited knowledge and communication abilities. Cut to the 2020s; chatbots are being used to diagnose symptoms, provide mental healthcare consultation, nutrition facts and tracking and more. For instance, two years ago, a multinational technology conglomerate collaborated with WHO to make a chatbot service that answers users’ queries related to Covid-19.
In 2020, the world’s first AI Doctor in Metaverse, a VideoBot, AskDoc.ai was launched. This AI-powered chatbot allowed users to talk to doctors on Covid-19 in various languages, including English, Urdu, Hindi and more, via voice and text.
Educational chatbots, or conversational AI, in education are transforming how institutions interact with their students and other stakeholders, including parents and teachers. Some popular use cases in education include personalised virtual tutoring, student engagement, student support, teacher’s assistant, administrative companionship, proactive assistance, feedback collection, assessment and evaluation, data repository, student sentiment analysis, and more.
For institutions, the benefits of chatbots include smoothening the admission process, student performance analysis, and active learning, among others.In terms of educating the citizens, Prime Minister of India launched the AskSarkar, AI virtual Assistant. This AI-powered chatbot helps users connect with the official government portals and websites and resolves users’ queries on government services via text, audio and video.
This article is written by a member of the AIM Leaders Council. AIM Leaders Council is an invitation-only forum of senior executives in the Data Science and Analytics industry. To check if you are eligible for a membership, please fill out the formhere.
Some examples of conversational AI are chatbots and virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, etc. These assistants understand natural language and user-intent to offer personalized responses.What is conversational AI used for? ›
Conversational AI is a type of artificial intelligence that enables consumers to interact with computer applications the way they would with other humans. Conversational AI has primarily taken the form of advanced chatbots, or AI chatbots that contrast with conventional chatbots.What are the types of conversational AI? ›
- Natural language processing (NLP)
- Machine learning (ML)
Conversational bots use artificial intelligence (AI) to assist users over both text and voice. Voice chatbots are all about facilitating your users with a seamless experience with your business.