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ANOTHER CHATBOT FIRM RAISES SERIES A FUNDING
Kasisto, a provider of Chatbots to banks, announced a $9.2 million Series A funding round led by Propel Venture Partners with participation from MasterCard and Commerce Ventures.
ATTITUDES TOWARDS CHATBOTS START TO EMERGE
BI Intelligence research includes a survey with Smartphone users’ attitudes about Chatbots. Here are some of the findings:
- AI has reached a stage in which Chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations.
- Chatbots are enabling businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
- Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps.
- Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of Chatbots demonstrates.
- The Chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party Chatbots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies.
- Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build Chatbots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.
- A blended approach of humans and Chatbots to deliver customer experience is expected.
TRIALS TO START ON A NHS CHATBOT 111
The NHS is to trial an AI powered Chatbot on the 111 non-emergency helplines for 1.2m residents in North London. This Babylon Health Chatbot uses dialogue to assist the caller through a pathway to identify the problem and recommend an action. The idea is for the Chatbot to tap into a vast and growing array of data to inform and improve decisions, that people would not be able to. Overtime, the Chatbot will have more knowledge than the traditional human operator, whilst materially reducing the cost per interaction. This approach naturally raises all sorts of concerns such as accuracy, social and legal issues. The key is getting the blend right of human and artificial expertise, but it is inevitable that Chatbots will prevail as knowledge complexity increases beyond the capabilities of those that provide the traditional 111 service.
CHATBOTS START TO REINVENT INSURANCE
The USA firm lemonade.com is a new type of consumer service for renter and home insurance. Part of the new insurance model is the Lemonade’s Claims Chatbot.
This Chatbot reinvents the claims process from first interaction to payment. The revised workflow from start-to-payment only takes a few minutes with the Chatbot handling the conversation and orchestrating data and events, with a full audit trail.
CHATBOTS VOICE INTERACTIONS GROWING QUICKLY
An Economist article called “How voice technology is transforming computing” provided some interesting USA data points:
- Amazon Echo, powered by the Alexa Chatbot, is already resident in about 4% of American households.
- Apple’s Siri voice conversations handles over 2bn commands a week.
- Google Now voice interactions account for 20% of all Google searches on Android-powered handsets.
YES BANK LAUNCHES PERSONAL LOAN CHATBOT
The Indian bank called YES has partnered with Gupshup to build and launch ‘YES mPower’, which is a Chatbot for the bank’s consumer loan products. ‘Yes mPower’ uses conversation with the consumer for:
- loan product information
- loan eligibility decisions
- provisioning of the loan
This latest Chatbot initiative follows the launch of YES Tag, which allows the bank’s customers to undertake a variety of banking transactions.