The Three Types of Intelligent Agents (Video)

Learn more about customer self-service at the next SpeechTEK conference.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Michael McTear: Let’s look at the different types of conversational interface. A broad distinction is that you can have a more conversational type that doesn't really do anything specific like accomplish a task, but engages in chat with you. The old chatbots going back to ELIZA were like that.

We still have lots of examples of those in the regular Loebner competitions, which are a sort of Turing test for computers, trying to find out which is the most human-like computer, the most human-like chatbot. Those, of course, do have applications. The picture indicates that perhaps people who are lonely and need companionship might actually benefit from having a conversational system that can interact with them; and not only that, can monitor various things in-house.

The second one is personal assistants, and that's where you're automating all the different tasks that you might do, scheduling meetings. In some cases, you have a separate one for each different application, but the movement in the future would be towards a more integrated type, such as they have already in China with WeChat, where you can accomplish everything within the one application.

Then there are enterprise agents, which is the interest of many of the people here, where they will either replace or augment customer service, particularly for those sorts of repetitive tasks like frequently asked questions and routine sorts of things that can be handled easily by a conversational system.

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