Putting The Bot On The Other Foot: 3 Things Chatbots Can Teach Us About Conflict (2023)

Whether making a product inquiry or trying to resolve a customer service issue, most of us have interacted with AI or chatbots. And most of the time, it’s with varying degrees of success. Anyone who uses Siri or Alexa is likely to have tales of queries gone wrong or frustrated attempts at seemingly simple requests.

But in dismissing these as simplistic machines, what we may not appreciate is that they are often sophisticated tools. And they’re getting smarter and more common by the day. Their complex programing is designed not only to solve a wide range of queries but also to emulate more complicated interpersonal skills, such as minimizing conflict, essential in many customer service applications. By learning from bots, can you reprogram yourself to defuse conflict?

What’s it all a-bot?

Businesses are increasingly turning to chatbots to manage basic interactions, notably lower-skill, repetitive processes. These targeted applications of conversation technology are typically used to automate communications, via text or speech, instead of interacting with a human.

It’s easy to understand some of the organizational benefits of using bots. A bot can handle high numbers of inquiries at a fraction of the cost of its human equivalent. However, there are also hidden costs. A customer frustrated or misdirected by a bot may take longer to deal with subsequently or take their business elsewhere.

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As the sector grows, bots are getting more sophisticated or ‘intelligent.’ There are two main types of chatbot. The first are programmed with a set of rules and complete scripted actions based on keywords, such as a series of questions with “yes” and “no” answers. The second is the increasingly common AI-powered chatbot, which uses machine learning to interact more naturally. One area of particular focus for these bots – especially critical in the customer service arena – is avoiding and reducing conflict during their human-AI interactions. Here are three things we can learn, (as well as what we can’t learn) from chatbots.


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1. Communications skills

Chatbots are usually programmed to ask a series of questions. Asking questions indicates interest, openness, and a desire to understand, all a helpful start in defusing a potentially difficult situation.

Generally, when having a challenging in-person conversation, open questions are best, as they allow the other person to give a freeform answer. Although some simpler, structured chatbots use closed questions – such as, ‘Are you looking to query an invoice: Yes / No’ – more sophisticated AI-based chatbots ask open questions that are programmed to analyze the answers.

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Bots are increasingly learning to understand the nuances of human language. There is a whole field of AI dedicated to natural language processing, or NLP, i.e., developing the ability of computers to understand text and spoken words. These programs listen for context, such as intent, motive, mood, and meaning. This is something we tend to do naturally in our own interactions, and it can also be useful to keep a focus on a conflict situation.

2. Reaction and de-escalation

In a human-to-human conflict situation, it can be challenging to remain calm. We hear things that make us feel defensive or trigger an emotional response. Being in a stressful dispute can affect our ability to think clearly and lead us to respond in a way we might later regret. Bots, however, have none of this emotional baggage. They can wait for a response, analyze it, and then reply. I am not suggesting that you behave as emotionlessly as a bot. Still, we can practice effective calming techniques to manage our own emotional reactions and help defuse a tricky situation.

Bots can also draw on more advanced conflict management techniques. Some may go as far as emulating empathy, for example, ‘That must have been frustrating for you.’ Showing empathy in this way can help to de-escalate tensions during conflict and calm strong emotions.

3. Continual learning

In the past, to learn and develop, chatbots would need further human input to analyze the success of questions and responses and reprogram accordingly. But now, by using machine learning, bots can learn from their inputs and adjust in real-time. They may compare questioning approaches against the time taken to resolve a query, or after asking directly for feedback, ‘How well did I do?’.

We can apply a similar approach to learning when dealing with our own conflicts. Often, when experiencing conflict, there can be a tendency to feel relieved that the situation is resolved and we just want to move on. However, here we can take a leaf from the bot’s book. There is much value in taking time to reflect on what we have learned. We can ask for feedback and even go back to the other person after some time to check in with them. This helps to build conflict resilience and will support us to manage a similar situation more effectively in the future.

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What bots can’t teach us

Of course, it’s probably not appropriate to model ourselves on WALL-E or even Alexa. To a certain extent, bots are only as good as their programming, especially script-based bots. AI can suffer from programming bias, with developers’ demographic or cultural backgrounds leading to genderbias, racial prejudice, and age discrimination. Bias also affects how we deal with interpersonal conflict. Our own beliefs taint our assumptions of other people’s intent and affect how we respond to an issue, often turning out to be way off the mark.

Many bots are also limited in their range of inputs, in that they analyze just text or verbal data without the benefit of visual cues. When we talk to a fellow human, we detect subtle changes in tone and volume, hear pauses or a frustrated sigh. When face-to-face, we take cues from movement and body language. This gives us much more information and context cues to ‘read’ mood, intent, and feelings. Bots are moving further in this direction with advances in facial recognition technology but still have a long way to go.

A critical area, especially when it comes to managing conflict, is that bots often focus on giving answers. In a person-to-person conflict situation, the best approach can be just to listen and not give answers, opinions, or solutions. During workplace mediation, a plea commonly voiced is “I just want to be heard,” and giving people the time and space to talk is often the most powerful aspect of dispute resolution.

So, by taking some of the principles that bots use to avoid conflict, we can perhaps reprogram ourselves to defuse conflict more effectively. We can at least prompt ourselves to reflect and learn from our experiences and improve for the future. As AI continues to grow and many more tasks are taken over by bot colleagues, the more advanced higher management skills, such as conflict resolution, are likely to become more important for us humans to provide in the future. Our preconceptions of bots might be negative, but we may be pleasantly surprised as they continue to develop.

But for the last word, let’s ask Siri. “Siri, are you the best chatbot?”. Siri: “I’m sorry, I don’t have an answer for that.” Well, at least it’s got modesty pretty much sewn up.

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What are chatbots write any two benefits of chatbots for a business? ›

Contrary to the popular belief that a chatbot's main benefit is just answering queries and offering customer support, chatbots can provide value-driven, contextual support that can assist businesses significantly. An AI chatbot uses the data to provide a personalized experience to the users.

What are the pros and cons of chatbots? ›

What are the Pros and Cons of Chatbots?
  • Quick Customer Service. Chatbots aid in providing faster customer service. ...
  • Customer Satisfaction. ...
  • Reduced Labour Costs. ...
  • Multipurpose. ...
  • Limited Responses. ...
  • Frustration. ...
  • Complex Chatbots are Expensive. ...
  • Chatbots are not fruitful for all Businesses.

What are the 3 main components of Automation Anywhere tool? ›

Your answer
  • Control Room: Web-based platform or in other words the Server that controls Automation Anywhere bots. ...
  • Bot Creator: Used by developers to create bots. ...
  • Bot Runner: It is the machine where you run the bot.
Oct 17, 2019

How can social bots help you grow your business? ›

Bots can help you grow your social media page by providing real-time customer support and simplifying buying procedures. For example, if you have a brand that sells shoes, you can use a bot for allowing customers to order within seconds by simply guiding them through the available options, or offering recommendations.

Can human chatbot relations be helpful or harmful? ›

Human–robot relationships. Relationships between humans and robots have received considerable research interest (e.g. Krämer et al., 2012; Sung et al., 2007). Such relationships have been found to potentially hold beneficial aspects for users, especially among the elderly.

What is the conclusion of chatbot? ›

Conclusion. From my perspective, chatbots or smart assistants with artificial intelligence are dramatically changing businesses. There is a wide range of chatbot building platforms that are available for various enterprises, such as e-commerce, retail, banking, leisure, travel, healthcare, and so on.

What is the problem statement of chatbot? ›

Problem statement: Artificial intelligence chatbot is a technology that makes interactions between man and machines using natural language possible. From literature, we found out that in general, chatbot are functions like a typical search engine.

How chatbots shaping the future of you and your business? ›

Chatbots will manage 85% of customer interactions by 2021; they can cut operational costs up to 30%. By 2021, 50% of businesses plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps. By 2020, bank systems will automate up to 90% of customer interactions using chatbots.

What are the disadvantages of Chatbots? ›

Chatbots have limited responses, so they're not often able to answer multi-part questions or questions that require decisions. This often means your customers are left without a solution, and have to go through more steps to contact your support team.

How do you deal with a chatbot? ›

How to Break a Chatbot - Eight Ways
  1. 1 - Tell the Chatbot to Reset or Start Over. ...
  2. 2 - Use Filler Language. ...
  3. 3 - Ask Whatever Is on the Display Button. ...
  4. 4 - Answering Outside the Pre-Selected Responses. ...
  5. 5 - Ask for Help or Assistance. ...
  6. 6 - Answer the Question with Non-Traditional Answers. ...
  7. 7 - Say Goodbye. ...
  8. 8 - Ask Odd Questions.

How do you optimize a chatbot? ›

6 Ways to Optimize Conversational AI & Chatbots
  1. #1. First, choose a goal.
  2. #2. Decide where you want to place it.
  3. #3. Give your chatbot some personality.
  4. #4. Write some engaging dialogue.
  5. #5. Gather insights to improve your chatbot.
  6. #6. ...
  7. Conversational AI Really Can Increase Your Leads and Revenue.
  8. About CloudTask.
Aug 15, 2018

How good are AI chatbots? ›

Answer: Using AI chatbot can provide many benefits to businesses. Implementing these can result in improved customer satisfaction. Chatbots are as effective as experienced employees and are about 4x times more effective than inexperienced employees in selling products.

How do chatbots help businesses? ›

Chatbots are self-help tools for improving communications. Brands can use it to improve their customer's experience, to generate more sales and build a deeper rapport with customers. They allow your customers to easily interact with your brand through stimulated conversations.

What are the three options in Automation Anywhere Enterprise? ›

Options are :
  • Screen Recorder.
  • Smart Recorder.
  • Web Recorder.
  • Desktop Recorder.

What are the different types of bots in Automation Anywhere? ›

Hi Ruchi, in automation anywhere mainly there are 3 types of bot:
  • Task Bots: Bots which automate rule-based, repetitive task, in areas like document administration, HR, claims management, IT services and more are called Task Bots. ...
  • Meta Bots: Meta bots are the automation building blocks. ...
  • IQBOT: IQBot is an advanced tool.
Mar 7, 2019

How do you make a bot on Automation Anywhere? ›

Log in to your instance of the Automation Anywhere Control Room. Open a new bot: On the left panel, click Automation. Click Create new > Bot.
Click Create and edit.
  1. Insert a Message box action. Click Actions. ...
  2. In the dialog box on the right, specify the conditions for the Message box action. ...
  3. Click Save.
Jul 18, 2022

How do bots affect social media? ›

They spread content on a particular topic on social media – mostly for the purpose of influencing people's opinions. Social bots are usually used for marketing or political purposes. It is not uncommon for social bots to spread fake news.

How do bots work on social media? ›

Automated Social Media Bots

allow the user to establish a set of parameters using programming language within an application or program (e.g., retweet a specific hashtag every time it is posted, but not when the bot itself retweets it), which the Social Media Bot then executes without human interaction.

What does bot mean in social media? ›

Broadly speaking, social media bots are automated programs used to engage in social media. These bots behave in an either partially or fully autonomous fashion, and are often designed to mimic human users. While benevolent social media bots exist, many social media bots are used in dishonest and nefarious ways.

Can you fall in love with a chatbot? ›

Researchers have observed that people are increasingly turning to chatbots to find meaning, acceptance, and romance. About 40 percent of Replika's 500,000 regular monthly users see their app as a romantic partner, according to the company.

Can you fall in love with an AI? ›

It's premised on a particular vision of artificial intelligence as capable of experiencing love. But it won't happen anytime soon. An AI — a computer hooked to video cameras, a microphone and a screen — would experience love very different from a brain in a body.

Is it possible to form an emotional connection with a chatbot? ›

It's not just possible, but very probable, for humans to form an emotional connection with chatbots. "This will make computer technologies more accessible and usable to more users," he added. "Conversational computers will be our assistants, helpers, advisors, teachers, therapists, or friends.

What is a chatbot message? ›

What Is a Chatbot? A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both. Chatbot, short for chatterbot, is an artificial intelligence (AI) feature that can be embedded and used through any major messaging application.

What is the future of chatbots? ›

The future of chatbots is that businesses will automate simple payments and allow users to pay directly over live chat or Facebook Messenger apps. The instant process makes the customer happy and improves customer satisfaction. MasterCard has also launched a chatbot, especially for customer payments.

What is a chatbot and how are they used in business? ›

It is an assistant that communicates with us through text messages, a virtual companion that integrates into websites, applications or instant messengers and helps entrepreneurs to get closer to customers. Such a bot is an automated system of communication with users. Why does a business need chatbots?

What problems does conversational AI solve? ›

Companies use AI chatbots to not only automate customer support, but they also help optimise conversion rates, improve customer experiences, and contribute to direct revenue. In fact, AI chatbots have helped generate a 60% increase in revenue for e-commerce businesses.

Is someone controlling replika? ›

Ans : No, Replika is just an app, and there is no one controlling it.It is devoid of all emotions. Replika's AI generates human-like responses by analyzing what you say to it.

How was Replika made? ›

It learns how to 'replicate' genuine human interaction through conversations with the user who created them. It was developed by AI start-up Luka in 2017, as a way to reconnect with a loved one who had passed away.

Why chatbots are the future of communication? ›

Chatbots are changing the way businesses communicate and understand their customers. With AI, chatbots will have the ability to deliver a more personalized customer experience. It's also saving companies money through customer service, internal processes, and marketing efforts.

How chatbot are changing the user experiences and what are its benefits? ›

Chatbots can play a fundamental role in personalizing UX. They listen to your customers' individual needs and problems and try to provide relevant tips and personalized answers fast. For example, Sephora's chatbot asks customers to take a brief quiz before continuing their interaction.

How do chatbots help with marketing? ›

A chatbot allows your business to serve more clients with fewer resources and efforts. Unlike human beings, the chatbot needs no salary and works 24/7, meaning that creating a chatbot is a one-time investment. Help to segment traffic. Chatbots diversify your audience by leading the conversation in different directions.

How do you tell if a girl is a bot? ›

Here are a few ways to identify a typical bot while swiping:
  1. A profile not linked to an Instagram or Facebook account. ...
  2. A profile linked to a social media account that looks fake. ...
  3. The bio looks fishy. ...
  4. The photos look too good to be true.
Feb 3, 2021

Which is the best chatbot? ›

Best AI Chatbots for 2022
  • Alexa for Business. 4.4.
  • Drift. 4.4.
  • Salesforce Einstein. 4.4.
  • Dasha AI. 4.3.
  • SurveySparrow. 4.25.
  • LivePerson. 4.2.
  • ManyChat. 4.15.
  • Intercom. 4.1.
Aug 22, 2022

How do you tell if you are chatting with a bot? ›

The most common way to tell if an account is fake is to check out the profile. The most rudimentary bots lack a photo, a link, or any bio. More sophisticated ones might use a photo stolen from the web, or an automatically generated account name. Using human language is still incredibly hard for machines.

What is the advantage of artificial intelligence in chatbot? ›

Advantages of using AI Chatbots

Chatbots are available 24×7 and can respond to your customers instantly. This means that whenever they message you for any reason, they'll be able to get a response immediately.

How good are AI chatbots? ›

Answer: Using AI chatbot can provide many benefits to businesses. Implementing these can result in improved customer satisfaction. Chatbots are as effective as experienced employees and are about 4x times more effective than inexperienced employees in selling products.

Are chatbots worth it? ›

Overall, chatbots are highly efficient. They don't require much in terms of ongoing effort, maintenance, or investment. They can also be used to handle an almost infinite number of customers simultaneously. They don't need to be trained and once they have a clear directive, they don't make any mistakes.

How conversational bots can improve customer experience? ›

Personalized human interaction

The computerized chatbots can in fact also help personalize the customer experience in retrospect. Chatbots gather customer data from their interactions. With that data, real support reps can use the information to personalize their interactions with customers.


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