Hate listening to the bank’s frustrating call centre menu every time you dial their hotline?
Well, customers will be pleased to know DBS is in the process of installing chatbots for their common banking transactions. Together with the launch of Facebook’s latest Messenger Platform (Beta), as well as the adoption of chatbots by other major chat applications such as Line, Kik and Telegram, it is predicted that chatbots will be the next disruptive technology.
In July alone, Botlist.co had already gathered over 11,000 chatbots listed on their directory. Even the Singapore government is in partnership with Microsoft to build chatbots for their online public services.
And while natural language processing is still far from perfect, early adopters in Singapore have already jumped on the bandwagon of this unprecedented hype.
Here are five interesting chatbots developed locally.
Bobbie – Matching SMEs to relevant Government grants.
Created by fintech platform Paelo, Bobbi is a Facebook messenger chatbot that helps small and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs) find the most relevant government grants.
How to use: The bot will begin by asking relevant questions and companies can reply by keying in the number that’s assigned to the choice they want.
Bobbie then searches its database and displays the various grants available.
The only downside? Bobbie doesn’t provide users with a link to the recommended grants, so users have to search themselves, which isn’t really much of a hassle with Google at everyone’s fingertips.
Alternatively, if the plate-of-life is full and applying for the grant is not time-sensitive, SMEs can contact Paelo and wait for them to get back.
Singapore Weather Bot – Personal Weather and PSI tracker
Singapore Weather Bot is developed by a local chatbot development company GOTObot.ai. It is a localised weather forecast with an added feature; it also gives Singapore’s PSI readings by region. With the current (and upcoming) haze situation in Singapore, this is expected to be useful for a lot of people.
How to use: The chatbot displays the various options available through scrollable buttons.
Chatters will be able to get current PSI readings from the past 24 hours, 3 hours and 1 hour, based on PM 2.5.
There is also a nifty function that allows you to set a daily alert for the PSI readings in your selected region.
With the haze affecting millions of lives in Singapore, SG Weather Bot will certainly come in handy for everyone living in the Lion City.
Ask Voila – Your Digital Personal Shopper
Ask Voila is a digital personal shopper, which is powered by artificial intelligence and human experts trained to help you shop via Facebook Messenger. They are created by a commerce driven chatbot development startup, aichat.co.
How to use: A welcome message appears once the user types “Get Started”.
Similar to SG Weather Bot, Ask Voila also presents its categories through a card base design. After selecting the main category, the chatbot will then customise a list of products that will be of interest to you. Once you’ve selected an item to purchase, you will be automatically redirected to LAZADA for check–out.
Although the customised selections are limited, the chatbot is equipped to do a quick search of an item via keyword. As seen with Ask Voila, the future of e-commerce looks to be exciting with the integration of chatbots.
Currency Converter & Exchange Bot – Currency converter and alerts
The first bot developed by GOTObot.ai as a learning bot, Currency Converter & Exchange Bot allows you to calculate live currency & exchange rates.
How to use: Enter the currency and amount to convert and the chatbot will instantly reply – using Google API for its exchange rates – you the converted currency.
Aside from converting currency, Currency Converter & Exchange Bot also allows you to set alerts when a currency pair hits a specific exchange rate as well as receiving daily notifications.
Sevi – Everyone’s Personal Property Agent Assistant
A familiar name in the property industry, StreetSine has developed a personal assistant chatbot that acts as a personal assistant for property agents. With the latest additional to their suite, Sevi is expected to bring efficiency to the complex processes of transacting and financing in real estate.
How to use: Initiate the chat by keying in ‘Hello’. Sevi then narrows down the selection possibilities by asking questions.
Listings powered by SRX platform gives this chatbot enormous value to people looking for properties and property agents alike.
Users will also be able to find information on the various properties and its location, as well as allowing aspiring homebuyers a chance to see the property’s floor plan.
Currently, Sevi can only provide accurate answers to queries made in English. But fret not – a multilingual version of the artificial intelligence is in the works.
The Future of Chatbots
While there are minute flaws and certain limitations, I believe things can only go uphill from here. With the recent employment of chatbots by trusted firms, there is no doubt this is the beginning. Chatbots are already changing the way we use our mobile phones; the age of mobile applications may just be in its sunset glory.
ChangSheng Sze Tho is passionate about Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He is the Co-Founder and Digital Marketing Strategist at Futureworkz.
Follow him on Twitter and let him know what chatbots you would like to see or are developing now.