• The use of chatbots has become increasingly common during the pandemic
  • These automated chat services are usually accessed on company websites
  • They use artificial intelligence to read messages and work out what people want 

Hi Rosie, I can see you’re thinking of leaving us,’ a customer services adviser called Ann wrote via the live chat service on my broadband provider’s website.

‘Yes, I’ve been trying to speak to the call centre but I’ve been on hold for 42 minutes.’

‘I understand that,’ came the message back. But did she?

The chances are high that ‘Ann’ was not a real person and was, instead, a chatbot — an automated answering service which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to read written messages, calculate what a customer wants, then answer their questions.

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