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A Saa S chatbot business ecosystem has been steadily growing since the F8 Conference when Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg unveiled that Messenger would allow chatbots into the app.
In large companies, like in hospitals and aviation organizations, IT architects are designing reference architectures for Intelligent Chatbots that are used to unlock and share knowledge and experience in the organization more efficiently, and reduce the errors in answers from expert service desks significantly.
In particularly, chatbots can efficiently conduct a dialogue, usually substituting other communication tools such as email, phone, or SMS.
In banking area their major application is related to quick customer service answering common requests, and transactional support.
Most people prefer to engage with programs that are human-like, and this gives chatbot-style techniques a potentially useful role in interactive systems that need to elicit information from users, as long as that information is relatively straightforward and falls into predictable categories. In 1984, a book called The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed was published, allegedly written by the chatbot Racter (though the program as released would not have been capable of doing so). Two such annual contests are the Loebner Prize and The Chatterbox Challenge (the latter has been offline since 2015, however materials can still be found from web archives).
Such sequences can be triggered by user opt-in or the use of keywords within user interactions.
After a trigger occurs a sequence of messages is delivered until the next anticipated user response.
Overstock.com, for one, has reportedly launched a chatbot named Mila to automate certain simple yet time-consuming processes when requesting for a sick leave.
Other large companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Renault and Citroën are now using automated online assistants instead of call centres with humans to provide a first point of contact.