Guest post by Kate Lynch, a business and digital marketing blogger.
Samsung Neon, Digital Avatars, and Artificial Empathy
Siri, Alexa, and Cortana might be nothing but 0s and 1s inside a computer, but that doesn’t stop people from getting emotionally attached to them. One study estimates that, quite like the plot of the movie Her, 1 in 4 people even fantasize about these smart assistants.
What happens when you give these collections of bits and bytes a human face and a personality to match? That’s the question Samsung Neon seeks to answer.
Neon creates “digital avatars’ – lifelike, virtual humans who pull double duty as chatbots. Unlike Siri or Alexa, you interact with them as you with a human being (the screen notwithstanding). They can emote and react with some degree of lifelike animation.
The result is an interactive experience that is significantly more empathetic. If Siri and Alexa can move us with their words and (programmed) humor, the effect is amplified manifold when the smart assistant is human-like.
Significantly, these digital avatars offer something that voice-only assistants can’t – face-to-face interaction. Human beings are hardwired to respond to faces. Research even suggests that to be truly empathetic, we need to see the respondent’s face. Digital avatars, thus, transcend the empathy gap in artificial interactions. The result is a more authentic, lifelike experience – something missing from the chatbots and smart assistants of today.
The Future of Artificial Interactions and Your Business
Think back to how Tony Stark interacts with computers. Fictionalized though it may be, the Iron Man vision of the future rarely, if ever, involves touch-based computing interactions. You don’t see him create a project dashboard in Excel and hammer away on a keyboard. Instead, everything is passed off to a smart assistant – JARVIS – via voice.
The same pattern is repeated across countless sci-fi movies. Theodore Twombly in Her talks to his smart assistant (and – spoiler alert – even falls in love with her). K in Blade Runner has a virtual holographic human assistant. Dr. Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey interacts with HAL primarily through voice.
Sci-fi doesn’t always show the future but it does influence it. And in sci-fi, artificial interactions usually involve one or all of the following – voice-focused interactions, smart assistants, and digital avatars.
As Google Meena and Samsung Neon show, we’re slowly, but surely moving towards this sci-fi future. Better chatbots that can understand true intent and conversational context will change how we interact with computers. When paired with digital avatars, these chatbots can ascend to near human-like realism.
That’s the big picture view.
But at a more granular level, how will this affect you and your business? Can a chatbot that can talk about anything also talk about your business and products? If yes, how do you ensure that it says the right things about them?
To achieve this, you need chatbots that have better access to the right data, i.e. your data. You need to train them on your internal knowledge base, manage their insight, and integrate your data with their natural language understanding.
If you can offer this data through mediums your customers already understand – voice and text chat – you’ll be one step closer to realizing the aforementioned sci-fi future.
Google Meena and Samsung Neon show the possible future of artificial interactions – voice-based and human-like. From keyboards and touchscreens, it is not unreasonable to say that in a few years, we’ll increasingly shift to voice as a key interactive medium.
Taking advantage of this shift requires smarter chatbots that are trained on your data. When you combine the natural language capabilities of such chatbots with your own business-focused data, you can create a friendlier, smarter customer experience.
Whichever path the future takes, you can at least be sure that the journey will be exciting.
Kate Lynch is a business and digital marketing blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers, keeping a keen eye on the latest trends and news in those industries. Follow her on twitter @IamKateLynch for more updates.
More Knowledge For Chatbots And Voice Assistants
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