Chatbots: Friend Or Foe Of Retail?

Automation has come to several industries. From manufacturing to customer service, there have been several parts of today’s workforce that have been automated by some form of smart technology. One in four Americans are currently at risk of having their jobs automated, according to a research paper from Ball State University, “How Vulnerable are American Communities to Automation, Trade, and Urbanization?” From the research, it was shared that, “Both trade and automation related to economic growth are hallmarks of a vibrant economy. However, the social and political unease that accompanies large shocks with varying distributional inequities felt by workers in different occupations and with different skill levels is real.” Over the last few years, chatbots have taken the retail space by storm, helping to automate several key aspects of customer service. In its arena, chatbots’ underlying technologies driving it is a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and natural-language processing. With 100,000 branded chatbots and growing on Facebook Messenger alone, it doesn’t appear that chatbots have any intention of going away any time soon. As such, it’s important to explore whether or not integrating chatbots into companies is having a positive or negative effect on its operations. Some may…

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