Insights and Inspirations


conversational AI and AI chatbots

Conversational AI Should Aim to Feel More Human

Karrie Sanderson | Chief Marketing Officer at Typeform

Conversational AI should go beyond sounding like a human and grasp what it feels like to talk with a human.

We're living in a time where a large part of our lives unfolds online and the headlines are full of stories that once belonged to the realms of science fiction, with tales that blur the boundaries between human and AI.

Recently, a Google engineer expressed concern about the apparent sentience of the LaMDA chatbot model. As we grapple with the implications of these stories, they echo a longstanding tradition of thinking about the impact of AI on our world.

Despite the creative leaps and technological strides, the question remains: why, after decades of AI promises, is it still more convenient to engage with a real person over the phone for customer service or problem solving?

Perhaps the answer lies beyond simply sounding human in AI and delves into the essence of human interaction. The bedrock of trust-building rests on "empathy and affect", according to the head scientist for Alexa at Amazon, Rohit Prasad. These are difficult to replicate artificially.

A crucial aspect of empathy is understanding another's perspective and feelings, something many AI use cases fall short of achieving. While companies are racing to invest in AI, a gap emerges between what brands believe they offer in terms of personalised experiences and what consumers genuinely experience, raising concerns about the authenticity of these interactions.

The annual survey of C-suite executives reveals a soaring 92% acceleration in AI investment, with over 75% reporting widespread AI adoption. However, a Twilio survey highlights a disparity: 75% of B2C brands claim to provide an excellent personalised experience, but only 48% of consumers agree.

True personalisation and empathy in automated experiences demands a focus on substance and authenticity over superficial conversational skills. Conversational technology, a potent tool for delivering personalised experiences at scale, thrives when engaging users in dialogue and learning from them.

The path to bridging the gap between brands' perceptions and consumers' experiences requires using technology to facilitate meaningful conversations. Unlike one-sided interactions that merely extracts data, true interaction involves a dialogue that enriches both sides with value and context.

While advancements in making AI more human are captivating, the real value for brands and consumers lies in the seamless integration of technology that allows for a more empathic connection. In AI, the key isn't just replicating human features but understanding how human interactions work and the future lies in the nuanced, natural interactions where technology enables a genuine and empathic connection.

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