At Your Service: The Telco Chatbots

3Q 2017 | IN-4710

The Chatbot that started as a simple lab invention has today turned into a quintessential business asset. Eliza was the first chatbot rolled out of MIT labs by Prof. Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966 as a simple program that used a “pattern matching” algorithm to imitate humans – like communication of a psychotherapist to a patient. The invention, although regarded a breakthrough, did not gain sufficient traction back then. However, the advent of ubiquitous computers, smartphones, gadgets, social apps, and advancements in AI technology in past two decades has completely turned around the scope and scale of chatbots. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, IBM’s Watson, Google’s Now and Amazon’s Alexa have transformed our conversational preferences from personal to virtual. Investment in AI chatbots is projected to reach more than USD$20 billion by 2021 spanning from retail, healthcare, hospitality to banking, insurance and telco industries.

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