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Part 1 recap:

  • How invasion of the BOTs is shaping up
  • Roadblocks they yet to overcome
  • Who are leading the charge – List of BOTs with cool information and trivia

Read the Part 1 of the article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/invasion-bots-part-1-rakesh-bhadang-pmp-scrum-master

All right, let’s jump right to the Part 2:

We left following important things for the part 2:

  • Benefits of the BOT invasion
  • Pitfalls of the invasion

After the invasion is complete:

  • What could go right?
  • What could go wrong?
  • What can you do?

Benefits:

The benefits of these virtual assistants are huge. Many of the companies are realizing that fact that in the age of 24-hr social media just having a web presence or an app is not enough. The virtual assistants are expanding the engagement boundaries further and further.

  • The virtual assistants are primed to engage customers intelligently but understanding the context, mood, and can predict future needs.
  • They can provide the answers about products, services, schedule, delivery and even entertain customers to build that elusive brand loyally.
  • Companies can leverage the service model to drive perception on social media
  • Virtual intelligent assistants can spot troubling trends early on so that can alert the management and take remedial action on their own
  • They open the whole new customer demography by providing new sets of tools
  • But the bigger benefit is savings Companies can save big time by unleashing these BOTs and in turn help simplify customers lives (and of course, mine more data about customers to earn more) the cycle continues…

Pitfalls:

  • A Bot who is unable to understand an accent or intonation is a bad Bot. Nothing frustrates a customer who has to shout 10, er, 5 times the same thing.
  • An impersonal BOT could turn off a large swath of customers in just one day.
  • Remember the Microsoft BOT ‘Tay’ who caused a stir after learning a bunch of bad words?
  • More engagement channels pose management risk
  • A rogue or hacked Bot could rack up liability claims

By 2020, they would have invaded your workplace and home.

What could go right?

  • Time savings: With such intelligent helpers at your beck and call, you could save good amount of time. The time that you can use to spend more money.
  • Cost savings: Enterprises could theoretically pass on the savings to customers. Note the word ‘theoretically’.

But here’s an idea: Maybe we can haggle with Bots about the price of that VR set. This is how it could go:

You:      Can you reduce the price of that VR set by $200?

Sales Bot: I’ve to consult with my manager.

(1 minute of cat videos)

Sales Bot: I’ve got good news. My manager agreed for $100 discount.

You:      Cool. Now we are talking. Let me tweet about this deal.

(call ends)

Sales Bot tells to other thread: See that sucker. His Bank BOT is my friend. From her I already knew his budget for that VR set.

  • Service Experience: Services can follow you everywhere blending seamlessly into each other.
  • Deliver Before Order ©: Bots would have that particular bicycle delivered to you before you even decide to buy it. This is how it could go:

You:   Honey, after the research, I finally decided to buy this bicycle. I’ll tell Shoppy to get me this.

Your SO: Oh, forgot to tell you, a bike was delivered three hours ago. Looks like Shoppy knew which bike you were going to like. Check the box outside.

You:   Oh I forget to order a new helmet. The current one is old. I want new.

(1 minute of cat videos)

Your SO: Answer the Door. It’s ringing. Must be the helmet delivery.

But the biggest of the benefits is below:

We currently talk about benefits in the form of a jargon that companies pushed onto us. Forget about the benefits listed above; there are benefits coming that we aren’t even aware of yet. I call this new benefit as Butterfly Benefit ©.

Butterfly Benefit: Companies have been hoarding the Big Data in storages everywhere in hopes of this master key. There are some specialized BOTs deciphering big data storages like Medicine research BOT or Translate BOT. But it could all change when one high IQ and multipurpose BOT learns how to process different sets of data in different contexts.

Thus, you set that BOT loose on one data store and it learns how to use that data. Then you set that same BOT on different contextual data container…wait for it…while allowing to carry over the knowledge it has learned like a compound effect. It could correlate knowledge bases and glean out intelligence in ways that we haven’t dreamed of yet.

In a ‘simple’ example, a bot that has studied spread of pandemics could employ the knowledge to the world of finance and even inject the financial patterns back into the pandemic studies. Then you release that BOT onto the social network data, then feed it with current events while it keeps on compounding intelligence. And then one day it can tell you a dog flu pandemic is about to trigger in Vietnam in next thirty days and it will also provide a list of people who could be potentially infected and how much money you need to raise to fight this. Contrast it with how we bungled the response to Ebola. THIS IS HUMONGOUS.

You can’t tell what you will get: There will be science discoveries, new ways of using energy, novels tailor written for you (I know, being a novelist myself, this will suck), discoveries of more exo-planets, early warning for a pandemic, your emails will be auto-written, FB updates and even replies to comments will be auto-written, new vaccines will be invented, industrial accidents will be reduced, new weapons will be invented, better recipes for Margaritas…

I name it Butterfly Benefit cause the BOT is doing similar to what a butterfly does: jump over to different flowers (data stores) and pollinate (use knowledge from one data store to unlock a different data store) and also from “small change in one state of a nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.”

All right, it’s time to throw some water on that cheeriness: J

What could go wrong?

  • Jobs: Currently we read the news how AI and robots are taking over factory and delivery jobs. We sigh and close the browser tab without realizing that very soon the AI will be writing that report, programming, or diagnosing illnesses and you and I soon won’t have jobs. Basic income, anyone?
  • Privacy: People currently are okay for internet knowing their real names, birth days, and locations. They say privacy, smivacy. But can you tolerate when a BOT won’t show you high end sneakers because it knows you can’t afford it? Or when it will report to your insurance provider that twice a week you order deep-dish pizza? Can you tolerate that level of intrusion?
  • Human Interaction: We already know the FB friends aren’t worth the page they are rendered upon. But with Bots, more and more people will be nestled inside their homes watching Netflix.
  • Illnesses: I expect some new illnesses to pop up especially in mental health arena. Although the BOTs would keep on finding new medicines, still I think this will be uncharted waters.
  • Machines Taking Over: Artificial Intelligence is said to be evolving. Currently we are in ANI (Artificial Narrow Intelligence). Upcoming is AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). Then on the horizon (30-40 years) is ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence)

By the ASI time, machines might be secretly planning a coup to take over. I’ve a theory about this scenario, but that’s coming in another article.

What can I do, you ask?

For each BOT you meet, make sure you meet ten actual human beings to maintain the balance of the civilization. But before you talk to an actual human, always prudent to make sure they are humans by giving them a light pinch on the arm. 🙂 (Turing test doesn’t suffice anymore)

One can’t be too careful. BOTs are listening.

Oh, wait, what happened to my Internet connection…

— By Rakesh Bhadang

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