One of the biggest trends over the past few years on the web has been the addition of the chat bubbles in the bottom right corner of websites. These little bubbles can provide website visitors with the ability to communicate with people at the company, such as support or sales. However, they don't give immediate information. Usually, there is no one sitting at their computer waiting for a question to come in. Instead, "someone typically replies within a few hours." However, with ActiveChat, websites can provide instant answers to common questions without agents or support tickets.
The system is based on conversational chatbots, giving website owners the ability to choose their most common support items and automate the answers involved. Using a visual building platform, the owner would usually start with a template. In the case of an online retailer, perhaps the problem they are looking to automate is verifying the status of an order. In this case, you might start with a shipping tracking template. From there, you can integrate your order database, including tracking numbers. Then, once deployed, a customer could ask the chatbot, in plain English, "Where's my order?" and the chatbot can get the required information, and automatically track the shipment.
The real magic of the platform comes from the conversational style of the chatbots. Rather than the user having to know the strange and stilted syntax of the bot (think Siri), they can speak in more natural sentences, and the bot can determine intention (think Cortana). Using Natural Language Processing means that these chatbots can easily be used by first-timers who do not have training on the platform.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.