AI in 2019: Are chatbots the future?

chatbots the future, AI in 2019
© Colin Man King Hui

From devices in our homes, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, to mobile apps like Cortana, AI have already made its way into our daily lives: are chatbots the future?

The workplace is no exception and AI has already helped businesses make better use of data and streamline processes.

While AI can serve to make our lives easier, according to John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices we are bound to encounter it more in the foreseeable future, and this may impact the availability of human jobs.

The future of chatbots

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fuelled a lot of hype around chatbots replacing human jobs after it was announced Facebook Messenger would be hosting a number of them in the coming years. The aim is to help businesses build bots on the chat app so they can hold automated chats with people which will eventually lead to more sales, bookings and brand awareness.

In fact, there is currently an array of Bots already in use on the platform for various aspects of people’s lives. Some examples of brands using bots include:

• Wall Street Journal (news) – to stay on top of major news and stock quotes
• Plum (personal banking/finances) – such as well-known Cleo the bot helps with saving money and checking on recent transactions
• HP (printing)- interacts with you so you can send photos and files to your printer
• Spotify (music) – once you get started with this bot, you’ll get playlist recommendations based on your mood, what’s your doing, or any genre of music you want
• Mastercard (personal banking/finances) – Makes it easy for customers to check on account transactions
• Pizza Hut (food) – customers are able to order for delivery or collection from Messenger or Twitter, as well as reorder favourite pizzas, ask questions and see current deals
• Whole Foods (food) – regardless of whether you’re at a store shopping for groceries, you can always search for recipes with the assistance of the Whole Foods bot on Facebook Messenger
• BBC News (news) – news updates and weekly roundups

The effect on business

Bots are essentially cheaper and quicker to make than apps, with many experts saying that bots will take over from apps in the near future. Many of these bots are able to carry out tasks traditionally done by humans including the following jobs:

  • Customer service agents
  • Fast-food servers
  • Personal assistants
  • Social media managers

Jobs most likely to be replaced by AI

Along with bots carrying out day to day tasks, research shows that certain jobs are steadily becoming more at risk from being taken over by AI. Initiatives show what the approximate chances are that certain jobs will one day be automated, although these results vary, some of the jobs with the highest probability of automation include:

• Telemarketers (99%)
• Credit analysts (98%)
• Cashiers (97%)
• Bookkeeping clerks (97%)
• Paralegals (95%)
• Accountants (94%)

John Williams, Head of Marketing at The Instant Group commented:

“While AI will definitely take over a few human jobs, it will also create jobs. The role of computer scientists will be high in demand while new roles will be created to run the AI, including engineers, accountants and retail analysts. People will also be needed to prepare the data for the AI to process and to train employees on how to use this new technology.

“The presence of AI will grow in the workplace, and while creating new jobs organisations, we need to realise that the real challenge will be finding candidates to take over these new roles.”


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