The chatbot as a tool to support human work

Starting in 1980, the biologist Stoermer began to speak of the Anthropocene to refer to the new era in which the human species determines the general conditions of life on the planet. The term, taken up by the Dutch chemist Crutzen in 2000, refers to a fundamental paradigm shift, dictated by the specific characteristics of homo sapiens, including the ability to build prostheses and devices, the power to act and change the external environment in order to adapt it to human needs.

Technique [from the Greek téchne: art, knowing how to do], in this case, is understood as the extraordinary manipulative capacity of man, who since antiquity has been characterised by his predisposition to overcome difficulties through his technical skills.

If you think about it, everything around us today is the result of human skill. Society is technical (Plato spoke of social weaving, while Hobbes represented the state as a machine made of gears) and we are increasingly inclined to adopt new technologies to enable us to control reality, dominate it, making it easier and more usable.

The chatbot is nothing but a new interpretation of this technical capability. A technology designed to complement human work as a strategic tool, capable of optimising repetitive tasks, cutting costs and saving time.

Indeed, they have already been able to simplify tasks in heterogeneous sectors. In fact, there are several fields of application for this technology:

The Chatbot in Recruiting

According to the Global Recruiting Trend, a LinkedIn research carried out globally, it emerges that for 67% of recruiters, artificial intelligence saves time, for 42% it enables them to overcome typical human biases, while for 31% it makes it easier to find the best candidate.

These three aspects can considerably improve the personnel selection process, simplifying the recruiter’s work in all those tedious and repetitive phases. In fact, according to research by the Italian association of personnel managers (Aidp), recruiters only manage to view 30% of CVs, spending a lot of time matching the various candidate profiles to the skills required by companies.

It is necessary to keep in mind that Artificial Intelligence is not able to replace human sensitivity in the evaluation of aspects related to soft skills, passions, and the more psychological characteristics behind a profile. This is why we speak of chatbots in terms of a tool for simplifying processes and not as a substitute for human work.

The Chatbot in transport

There are examples of application in this sector too, first of all the Chatbot used by Ratp (Régie autonome des transports parisiens), the French public company in charge of managing transport in Paris and its suburbs.

In this case, it was decided to rely on this technology to meet the new needs of the youngest target users (aged between 15 and 35), by simplifying the retrieval of all information concerning the search for routes, traffic status, timetables, strikes and other service news.

The chatbot in customer care

A customer service can be defined as excellent when a company offers support strategies that are truly effective and close to the customer. The chatbot, in this declination, can be used as an automated messaging service, capable of holding an ongoing conversation with consumers.

The benefits brought in this area are innumerable. These include a reduction and streamlining of user response times, the ability to direct and guide consumers to the information they need, improving the customer experience, and the opportunity for integration with all other customer care services.

Too often we demonise new technologies for fear of the consequences, both positive and negative, that they can bring to traditional structures. However, it is necessary to try to understand when they can lead to real improvement, interpreting them as a tool and not a threat, capable of flanking man but not replacing him.

Indeed, there are cognitive tasks that remain and will remain exclusive to man. At the same time, it is fair to assume that there will always remain a certain predisposition to look for the most appropriate tools to facilitate certain fundamental tasks, capable of increasing our efficiency over time.