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Chatbots Meeting Every Human Need
Scott Navratil

Chatbots and artificial intelligence, in their basic form, are no new thing. In fact, Alan Turing and Joseph Weizenbaum were already contemplating the concept of computers communicating with humans in the 1950s and 1960s. Turing experimented with basic human and computer interactions through a question and response game. Weizenbaum invented what would be considered the first chatbot: Eliza, a computer program designed to imitate a therapist communicating with human patients.

Even from their core concept, chatbots were created to meet the needs of humans. Eliza, for example, was designed to help people seeking therapy. When told “Why does my head hurt?” Eliza would respond “Why do you say your head hurts?” Eliza, it her computer form, was there for the emotional and mental needs of the people who utilized her.

Jump forward to our present day, and despite the variety of uses for AI chatbots, they are widely used to meet every human need.

AI Chatbots for the Sleepless

Do you ever have a hard time falling asleep with a hundred ideas and thoughts floating in your head? And you felt the desire to someone but everyone else was asleep? There is a chatbot for that. CNET featured an article about a chatbot that was created for the insomniacs. Insomnobot-3000, a chatbot application, was designed by a mattress company focused on serving the needs of those who have trouble sleeping. So even when it is three in the morning and everyone is asleep, you can message Insomnobot-3000 for some late night or early morning conversation.

AI Chatbots for the Text Messengers

Chatbots are used for everything. Want to order a pizza? Do not bother calling the pizza place. Message them with your order and get a AI chatbot response that it will be ready in 20 minutes. Forgot to add extra cheese? Your AI pizza bot got the message and will add it to the order.

Most large companies are moving to some form of AI chatbots. Whether it is messaging a question to a company through Facebook or sending a text message, companies are responding to people’s communication habits and allowing them to reach out through SMS messaging and their smart phones apps.

AI Chatbots for Health Needs

AI chatbots are going above and beyond to meet basic human needs. Microsoft released a AI chatbot platform demo for a digital health provider. The medical chatbot responds to someone’s leg hurting. By accessing fitness and other personal information stored in apps and online, the chatbot can ask where there is pain, suggest a possible cause, and then connect them a doctor’s office to set up an appointment.

In a recent Bloomberg Technology article, one of Microsoft’s research vice presidents Peter Lee says, “We know health care will become more patient-focused, more cloud-based and that AI will make health care more data-driven.” Microsoft is working with companies to provide AI and chatbot technology to greater serve patients.

AI Chatbots for Everything

Turing and Weizenbaum foresaw how AI would be able to serve the needs of people everywhere. While we have come a long way from their first computer programs, chatbots and AI programs are still proving to meet human needs, whether a need for conversation, customer service, or health advice.

Chantel Fullilove

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