It’s aptly quoted “Be where your customers are.” For the past decade, it meant establishing presence on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, while looking out for new methods to growth hack and opportunities to tap. Today, these social networks are being rapidly replaced by messaging apps in context to how we spend our time.
What is the use of social networks? And what are they being used for, majorly? These are two different questions with different sets of opinions. Most of the tech-pundits believe that these social networks are majorly used for discovering news, growing network and sharing content. Chat is where we make those decisions, plans and finalise things. This is where ‘Conversational Commerce’ comes into play. With human psyche of consumerism and easiness of availability, this method is driving sales in countries that have a solid infrastructure. What if the chat was automated? Using an NLP algorithm to get back to those users with relevant answers. In order to change the old fashioned way online commerce is done, Morph.ai came into being.
Co-founded by Pratik Jain and three others in 2016, this Gurgaon-based B2B startup is a platform for conversational commerce. The startup enables companies and brands to showcase their products and services on social media platforms, their own portal, text messages etc through chatbot. Here users can ‘get things done’ over chat. From buying movie tickets to booking a cab, almost every commerce action can be performed through chats. Not only it helps cutting costs but also is an effective customer acquisition strategy.
On the same, Pratik stated that “once a company signs with us, we take 30 days of onboarding time. During this period, we look at the services/products the company is offering and automate the chat accordingly.” The company is using machine learning with Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automate chats. These bots are not only involved in commerce but can also help with customer support. Many believe NLP is a tough nut to crack as there are many inconsistencies with human language like use of emotions in language, slangs, sarcasm etc.
He further added, “There are times when machine finds it tough to understand what a human is trying to say. In cases where the Confidence Score is below a threshold, the control is passed to the human agents, thus providing a seamless experience to the end customers.”
Morph.ai is monetising through a subscription-based model where the clients are charged on a monthly basis on how many parallel bots they want to deploy. Pratik stated that they have gotten 12 clients since March.
With the company being bootstrapped for now, Pratik said, “We’re not actively looking to raise funds. We want to get the product perfect, achieve required traction and then we’ll plan on raising funds for scaling the project.”
Employability with Advent of AI – iamwire’s take
Artificial Intelligence is taking, if not the world, then at least the startup ecosystem by storm. With startups like 6sense to predict sales, Arria to make easy-understandable reports, to Mintigo to mine financials, staff and hiring trends, technologies installed, marketing channels used, and purchase intent, most of the work will be automated, not only white collar jobs but blue collar jobs will also lose their sense.
Employability is an important issue, if not maintained, the scientists believe the social structure of the society will be dismantled by the increasing the economic divide. While talking to Pratik about employability with advent of AI, he said, “With growing automations in any field, the amount of labour force is bound to decrease. Automated chats would remove a large percent of working force in the customer service departments of companies. However, at the same time, creative writers, story tellers, psychological analysts etc. would find new opportunities springing up for them in the technical domain.” Starting from analysts, translation jobs to customer service, as Pratik said, will disappear from the market. It’s also believed that AI will create new jobs in many sectors and hence neutralising the damage.