Chatbots or chatters have become sophisticated and their applications have become more practical. They have evolved from rule-based automated response applications to AI-powered software programs with natural language processing or NLP capabilities.
Pros: The Advantages of Chatbots
The expansive applications of chatbots come from their notable advantages that provide individuals and organizations with both cost advantage and competitive advantages. Examples of these applications range from automating business processes to virtual assistants.
Developments in artificial intelligence have made specific chatter software programs more advanced and useful. Some even have generative AI capabilities. These advantages draw demonstrate the applications and advantages of machine learning and deep learning, NLP and large language models, and artificial neural networks.
Rule-based chatters are also common across different digital communication platforms such as social networking sites and electronic commerce websites. They are more cost-effective and easier to implement with no hard coding required.
Below are the specific advantages:
• Quick and Instant Response: These software programs provide quick responses to users. There is no waiting time. This makes them useful tools in time-sensitive or critical applications such as in the case of answering customer inquiries, processing orders, and providing after-sales services, among others.
• Available Round-the-Clock: Another advantage of chatbots is that they can operate without interruptions. This is helpful in applications related to work or business operations. These software programs can provide assistance or support without the need to consider breaks or holidays and even costs.
• Data Collection and Integration: They can also be used as a platform for collecting data on user behavior, preferences, and needs to improve products or revisit and realign marketing strategies. They can also be integrated with information systems tools such as a customer relations management platform
• Support for Multiple Languages: A particular chatter can be programmed to support multiple languages. This expands its demographic and geographic reach. A particular organization that uses a multi-lingual chatbot can target more potential customers or service existing customers who speak different languages.
• Expandable or Scalable Application: Take note that a single chatter program can handle multiple conversations with different users simultaneously. The instantaneous response and round-the-clock availability make it a scalable tool for an individual or organization that handles high volumes of inquiries.
Cons: The Disadvantages of Chatbots
The aforementioned advantages of chatbots collectively demonstrate their capabilities to replace some functions that require human involvement. However, in considering their disadvantages, it should be considered that they are not an absolute replacement for humans.
It is true that chatter software programs can provide a personalized user experience. However, because of the complexities of human communication, they are incapable of discerning situations and providing context-aware responses. Some conversations or interactions require emotional intelligence and context awareness.
Nevertheless, while chatbots are effective for certain tasks or requirements, they are still limited in their ability to provide a deeper level of personalization, emotion-based and context-based conversations, and true interpersonal relationships.
Below are the specific disadvantages:
• Lacks Empathy and Context Awareness: These software programs are not ideal in settings that require emotional intelligence and awareness of context. Examples include responding to certain health-related inquiries or needs such as mental health counseling. A particular chatter also does not have cultural competence.
• Might Be Unappealing To Other Users: Some people still prefer human interactions because they find conversing with a non-human chatbot objectionable. Others might even see its use as offensive. Remember that there are situations that require genuine interactions and depend on organic communication skills.
• High Dependence on Technology: Another disadvantage of chatbots is that they require technology to function. Outages due to power interruption or network congestion can make them non-operational. They also need constant improvements. Implementing a sophisticated chatter can be expensive from the onset.
• Ethical Issues and Privacy Concerns: Chatbots can provide a biased response when trained using biased training datasets. They are also susceptible to misuse and abuse. Concerns related to privacy rights have also emerged due to the manner in which these programs collect and process sensitive user data.