That’s why Russian technology company Endurance developed its companion chatbot.
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease struggle with short-term memory loss.
As such, the chatbot aims to identify deviations in conversational branches that may indicate a problem with immediate recollection — quite an ambitious technical challenge for an NLP-based system.
In addition, since the chatbot is a cloud-based solution, physicians and family members can review communication logs taken from the bot to identify potential degradation of memory function and communicative obstacles that could signify deterioration of the patient’s condition.
Like the endearingly stiff robots we’ve seen in countless movies — tragic, pitiful machines tortured by their painfully restricted emotional range, futilely hoping to attain a greater degree of humanity — chatbots often sound human, but not quite. It’s the online equivalent of the “Uncanny Valley,” a mysterious region nestled somewhere between the natural and the synthetic that offers a disturbing glimpse at how humans are making machines that could eventually supplant humans, if only their designers could somehow make their robotic creations less nightmarish. Chatbots have become extraordinarily popular in recent years largely due to dramatic advancements in machine learning and other underlying technologies such as natural language processing.Enter Casper’s amazingly named Insomnobot 3000 (which truly is one of the most tongue-in-cheek, retro-futuristic names for a chatbot I’ve ever come across), a conversational agent that aims to give insomniacs someone to talk to while the rest of the world rests easy.At this point, Insomnobot 3000 is a little rudimentary.This is where most applications of NLP struggle, and not just chatbots.Any system or application that relies upon a machine’s ability to parse human speech is likely to struggle with the complexities inherent in elements of speech such as metaphors and similes.
Today, chatbots are used most commonly in the customer service space, assuming roles traditionally performed by living, breathing human beings such as Tier-1 support operatives and customer satisfaction reps.