LiveTiles Presentation of Chatbots by exClone

We had an exciting gathering last Friday at the LiveTiles office to explore future directions via LiveTiles platform, digital workplace. LiveTiles offers a unique tool to curate and create content that is relevant to vertical needs of an enterprise without any coding requirement. Now, through the same channel, artificial intelligence applications can reach Sharepoint users one of which is exClone’s expert chatbots.

We have demonstrated Wendy, an example of employee assistant that can be launched by any enterprise using their own content. The example included simple interaction of Wendy bringing health benefits information and answering questions. Wendy’s expertise can include health insurance policies as well as all other different benefit information.

There is literally no limit to the type of content that can be curated as part of Wendy’s expertise. For example, a derivative of Wendy can be created to include training material, compliance, in-house surveys, and employee testing. One of the most important properties of exClone is to allow chatbot creators to develop a chatbot in a single-step machine learning process. Similar to LiveTiles feature, chatbot creation with exClone does not require any coding or any working knowledge of AI. This is how Wendy looks like through LiveTiles platform.

More about Wendy will be announced soon. Stay tuned for an exciting future!

 

Chatbots Obey the Two Principles of the Human Brain: (1) Laziness, (2) Stimulus Junkie

Let’s start with the laziness aspect. If I flash two pictures in front of your eyes in a split second, you will recognize one picture instantly, and you will have no clue of the other. Guess which one is which?

For evolutionary reasons, the human brain’s cognitive capacity is largely reserved for image recognition to detect dangers instantly. Obviously, a tiger would not send you a text message before attacking; therefore, “reading” is not a biological priority. Since humans started to read only for a few thousand years, we are not yet evolved to balance the picture above. As a result, “reading” is a painful and tiresome activity. We all know this from school days. Hence the saying “a picture is worth thousand words.”

Now the same comparison can be made with these two images. The image replaced by tiger is still not as easily recognizable, however, it is much easy on the eye. And the most importantly, it promotes focus that is one screen, one place, one single action for interaction. The reason for messaging platforms to be so widespread and popular is this basic principle of FOCUS that plays into the hands of a lazy brain. Probably, half of the messaging activity includes pictures and videos, satisfying the hunger of a lazy brain through this focused interaction.

The second principle is that the human brain is a STIMULUS junkie. In a boring environment, a human brain will always steer toward something more exciting. Curiosity and learning have strong ties to the evolutionary instincts of survival. It is “in our nature.” Stimuli can now be delivered instantly by mobile devices. Chatting/texting with a friend on a mobile phone while socializing with others has recently become a widely acceptable form of social interaction. Everybody silently agrees that we all need to be stimulated even during the short, dull moments of our social gathering. It may actually improve our social relationships since we no longer have to endure boredom when we get together.


If people have already chosen chat/text as one of the most precious priorities in their lives, then why not use the same tool (Chatbots) to interact with computers, databases, websites, machines, and even with books?


That is the point of departure of this new wave of realization across the tech world. The only problem, though, is that chatbots are not as easy to develop as many people assume so. It requires the culmination and curation of machine learning, natural language processing, and the psychology of human dialogue. These are not easy skills to deploy, and the market will eventually filter out its natural selection of the fittest. Chatbots are here to stay and occupy our lives in the next decades to come.

exClone Chatbot, Debate Guide, on The Wall Street Journal’s Politics Front Page

exClone’s chatbot, called Debate Guide, which is developed for The Wall Street Journal, has made it to the Politics front page last night following the 1st presidential debate. It is titled as “DEBATE DATABASE” positioned on the right top corner.
WSJ Front Page 9-28-2016The exClone, Debate Guide, is an example of how chatbots deliver a simple conversational search function. It has received over 60,000 conversations so far, showing high engagement rate. We will report conversational analytics of this operation after the election in November 8th, 2016. You can try Debate Guide and examine what the presidential candidates said during prime-time debates.

 

6 Reasons Why Chatbots are the Next Gold Rush in Tech World

The term “chatbot” is on its way to become a household concept sooner than anyone has expected. Although chatbots have been around nearly three decades, their promise have just recently started to accelerate in the media. The emergence of mobile devices equipped with voice recognition apps contributed to this upsurge. Also, a more diluted name “digital assistant” helped people’s perception. However, the user acceptance bar is still very high with chatbots unlike many other applications. Is the science and technology finally caught up to pass this bar? Here are the six reasons that summarize the gold rush nature of the chatbot business.

1- THE HOLLYWOOD EFFECT

ex1Talking computers have been in the movies since the first few episodes of Star Trek. An intelligent computer, that talks with a sexy voice, knowing everything possible to know, advising us what to do, has been the central theme of almost every science fiction movie. Finally, we hit a point where it has become such an expected functionality, that less than a perfect talking robot is unthinkable. Hollywood effect is real, and shapes consumer expectation perhaps beyond what is usually acceptable from a computer program. We are very accustomed to Windows OS messing up in the middle of an important work, but we will not tolerate less than a perfect chatbot. WE ARE LONG OVERDUE FOR SOME REAL LIFE EXAMPLES OF TALKING COMPUTERS THAT DELIVER SENSIBLE CONVERSATIONS, THANKS TO HOLLYWOOD.

2- BIG PLAYERS ENTERING THE GAME

dewey2Do you remember Microsoft’s Ms. Dewey? This chatbot with nice graphical interface was released almost a decade ago and failed quickly afterwards. Perhaps she was too early for her time. Nevertheless, Microsoft showed its soft underbelly by proving that they could release high tech products without actually understanding the challenges behind the technology and its underlying science. A decade later, Cortana is not any better, making people wonder what did Microsoft learn during the last decade? Almost to the point, another blunder with Tay Twitter app does not seem to dampen any spirits in Microsoft. Chatbot technology has become a shameless trial-and-error game, maybe because Apple could stomach Siri, a seriously limited gadget, a joking material. We can add Amazon’s Echo to the list, and now Facebook’s API release. At least, Facebook is moving more cautiously by spreading the responsibility to independent developers. IBM’s stake in this game is only to be seen in TV commercials. There is no public launch of any chatbot to avoid public scrutiny. Google is also experimenting with chatbots without a convincing public demo. Despite the blunders and overpromised hype, the entrance of the big players into the Chatbot game is a positive development. SOME OF THE BIG PLAYERS ARE TAKING THE RISK OF PUBLIC MOCKERY AND DAMAGE TO THEIR BRAND JUST TO BE IN THE CHATBOT WORLD. That means the gold rush is on!

3- HUGE POTENTIAL IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

We may have landed on the moon several times, but the state of the customer service today is based on sheer human labor. The nature of this job is boring, repetitious, and stressful, not much different than the rowers in this Charlton Heston movie. If we round up helpdesk, tech support, and corporate training industries, we are talking about $50 billion market segment that is a sitting duck for computerized automation. Only if the computers can talk and solve problems adequately.

k3

THE CHATBOT USAGE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE MARKET IS LESS THAN 0.01% INDICATING AN UNTAPPED COMMERCIAL TERRITORY. The current suppliers are half-dozen startups none of which is worth mentioning at this stage. There are, however, chat-line providers that connect visitors to human agents. Obviously, chatting live with human agents does not change the human labor requirement, its mathematics remain the same. Therefore, we should not confuse chat-line technology with chatbot technology although they can complement each other.

4- ROBOTS AND SMART TOYS ARE ON THE RISE

hiltonThere is an unstoppable wave of robotic products coming to the market. Led by Japan, and South Korea these robots can do incredible tricks, except for less than decent conversation skills. CHATBOTS ARE A NATURAL FIT TO ROBOTICS. Therefore, a skillful chatbot technology can flourish in this market segment. You may run into Connie, Hilton’s new robot concierge with primitive skills. IBM’s Watson was not impressive with this example, yet it still showed us what to expect in the near future. Then, there are vehicles that can talk to its driver. In-car voice recognition still has some way to go. However, a few automakers are taking the lead in creating in-car interfaces that are easy to use. Among the favorites are Acura and Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes, and Ford. It would make sense to keep your hands on the steering wheel, and eyes on the road while you talk to a chatbot for various purposes. But this is only the opening act. There is a huge realm of industrial machines. Operating each one of them require expertise and knowledge, and chatting with them could improve safety and enhance efficiency. This list goes on and on. Bottom line, every machine can talk to humans sometime in the future if it makes commercial sense.

5- CHATBOTS CAN BE A NEW FORM OF SOCIAL DIGITAL PRESENCE

vera11It all started with a Website concept in 1990s. A person could have his/her own Website. Then, it was automated by MySpace. Then came the personal blogs. Social networks like Facebook and Linkedin, followed by YouTube and Twitter, they all presented a new form of digital presence of one’s self image on the Internet. Now, what if you had your own chatbot?

Your chatbot could represent who you are, your skills, perhaps the products you sell, services you offer. Is that possible?  The answer is yes, of course. CHATBOTS WILL BECOME THE ULTIMATE FORM OF SELF EXPRESSION, AND PERSONAL PROMOTION. The only stumbling block on the way is the accuracy of chatbot technology and ability to automate creation. Personal chatbots are likely to appear in the celebrity circles first, then spread to professionals like lawyers, doctors, dentists, and financial advisors. The commercial aspect of this development is strongly related to the c-commerce potential, which is my next point below.

6- CHAT IS C-COMMERCE, A NEW CHANNEL FOR SALES

Sending messages has become a landmark behavior in the timeline of human evolution. Billions of messages are sent daily across the globe. Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, Skype, Instagram, WhatsApp, Slate, and many other platforms allow sending and receiving messages, none of which has been commercialized. CHATBOTS ARE THE NEW SALES CHANNEL AND DEFINE C-COMMERCE.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg recently said “You never have to call 1-800 FLOWERS anymore” referring to Facebook’s Chatbot APIs mainly targeted for ecommerce and retail operations over the social network. Perhaps, we will remember Facebook down the road as being the visionary company to open up this new channel.

Out of 6 reasons listed above, the C-commerce virtue of chatbots is perhaps the strongest argument for expecting a gold rush. Sales dialogue is relatively easier for chatbots to handle, and there is money in the electronic commerce world floating back and forth. C-commerce is likely to be the fastest realization of ROI in this segment.

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This article is brought to you by exClone.com, a new chatbot technology provider. You can follow exClone in Facebook, and LinkedIn. To follow chatbot related discussions and news, please join CHATBOTS group in linkedin.

 

What is the DNA of your Mind?

Your DNA determines everything about you: eye color, height, body shape, skin type, etc. But it does not determine one thing about you. Your mind.

At birth, human brain is nothing but an empty storage tank with 30 billion neurons in it. In contrast to your wonderfully choreographed body with details from toe nails to hair thickness, there will be nothing special about this most important vital organ. The brain needs to be filled. It is a process. The process of learning and maturing via various life experiences results in the final description of who you are, and yet it continues to change in time with increasingly smaller amounts and slower pace.

You may wonder why it is important to know the DNA of your Mind (DNAM). Although it may sound like an original idea, it is actually nothing new. For example, tracking and profiling Facebook users based on their likes is some rudimentary form of DNAM.  Obviously, such a thing is perceived as a dark enterprise nowadays due to privacy concerns.

When we move from the present gloomy picture and imagine what can happen in the future, the meaning of DNAM may change drastically. If DNA cloning ensures the eternal continuation of your body, then DNAM may ensure the immortality of your mind, in a peculiar and exciting manner. The truthfulness of this statement very much depends on how DNAM will evolve from being just a commercial “profile” to something much spectacular.

DNAM3

Psychological studies have several, somewhat debatable, human personality theories. Creating a model for DNAM must use something like the  Raymond Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors. Marking them on 1 to 10 scale (either by measurements or self determination) shows your behavior such as reasoning, emotional stability, sensitivity, patience, and other factors as shown in the blue chart. Mathematically speaking, if we had Steve Jobs’ blue chart like this one, there could be another 20 million people out there with the same blue chart. As a result, psychological profiling is never unique enough to claim your DNAM.

The exClone process takes the blue chart into consideration by determining several factors such as dialogue behavior, curiosity, openness, patience, and eagerness to learn. All these traits easily reflect themselves in one’s speech patterns. However, the degree of accuracy in replicating your personality will always be debatable.

The classical approach to human personality modeling omits the role of a 2nd important element, which we call it “expertise.” In the same scale of 1 to 10, now we can mark the level of knowledge in various fields as shown in the green chart. This list could be as long as it needs to be depending on each person. The expertise can be anything ranging from how to boil an egg to how to launch a nuclear missile. The blue chart combined with green chart will now have a better chance to depict a unique DNAM of Steve Jobs as well as you.

The digital cloning of human expertise, undertaken by the exClone project, attacks this basic problem by the creation process of exClones.  To make exClones useful to society, the main emphasis is given to the expertise part (green chart.) The expertise in various fields and subfields are entered into the system by the creator. To leverage the potential of organic growth of knowledge, an exClone continues to learn after his/her birth by following the personality traits of its creator (blue chart) by means of social conversations and by accessing the Internet sources.

The uniqueness of the green chart is in its identification and prioritization of knowledge. For example, between the two dentists who went to the same school, it would be impossible for them to have the same expertise in real life. Each would have a different clinical experience over time. This unique experience combined with the personality traits (blue chart) is what makes up the final definition of our minds and DNAM. The screenshot below shows how Micheal, the first exClone ever born, displays his expertise in a conversation with a somewhat nerdy attitude.

micheal-Screen

The exClone project is significant in its role to be the first comprehensive attempt to model deep artificial intelligence at a personal level. Should the computers we create have personalities and knowledge prioritization? The short answer is “absolutely yes”. Differences fill all the gaps, and avoid common blind spots. That is the power of group thinking and the corner stone of human civilization. The future of computerized human societies will be more successful with human-like variety as opposed to a single, “can do all,” generic, emotionless computers.