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No, You Are No A.I. Company When Building a Chatbot

codeforequityat profile image Florian Treml ・1 min read

According to the report The State of AI 2019: Divergence there is a lot of Bullshit Bingo around the thing called Artificial Intelligence (AI). From page 101 of the report:

“In approximately 60% of the cases (…) there was no evidence of AI material to a company’s value proposition.”

This means on the other hand that 40% of AI companies are not really making value of AI technologies. Product taglines are full of buzzwords to make it appear interesting. For example this one:

“With the help of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Blockchain our chatbot organizes a meetup with all your friends”

What this product actually does:

  • It connects to various calendar applications
  • It finds a free spot for you and your friends
  • It blocks this spot in the calendar applications

While such a product might make sense, it has nearly nothing to do with AI (and I don’t see anything Blockchain-related here, but that’s another story). The user interface is a chatbot application based on natural language: “hey xy-bot, organize a dinner with my closest friends next week”. Surely, there is intent and entity resolution involved, but as long as this company doesn’t work on it’s own NLU engine, which it most likely doesn’t, I don’t call this company an AI company.
Using an NLU engine doesn’t make you an AI company.

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