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March 2018, Vol. 2, No. 2

Understand chatbot use cases and features for business

Clippy. SmarterChild. Tay AI. If you remember these names, you'll note that chatbots certainly have a checkered past. Despite that, chatbot use cases have a place in the enterprise today. A chatbot -- or just 'bot' -- is a user interface built on a back-and-forth conversation between a user and an app, likely with the ability to process natural language inputs, and possibly with machine learning or artificial intelligence to help add context to the interaction. Bots have been the subject of occasional hype over the last few years, but in their core components, they're just like any other type of app or user interface that can bring benefits to business users. Bot components A chatbot application can have varying levels of complexity. If the user interacts with the bot via voice, then it requires a speech recognition engine. Machine learning has improved the ability of software to translate audio speech into text at a basic level, but a very basic chatbot can even simply use "dumb" voice transcription. That technology transcribes...

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