Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots are taking over our world. If you’ve been online in the past 12 months, you’ve probably seen them: innocuous little boxes that inquire as to whether you need any help or have any questions about a product or service.
Of course, there’s not always a real human on the other end. Advances in digital technology are trending towards the development of AI-based software that responds to conversations, either via voice or lines of text, like a human being.
Researchers believe that such AI-powered chatbots hold their audience’s attention better and allow for more frequent and deeper responses.
Believe it or not, there is opportunity for nonprofits here.
More and more nonprofits are looking to expand their knowledge and mediate more of their interactions with the online community with such chatbots for the following reasons:
To explain what your nonprofit is for and how it hopes to accomplish its goals.
DZone explains that the 24-hour quick response ability afforded by chatbots allow nonprofits to connect swiftly with visitors and reduce overhead at the same time by reducing the need for paid human staff.
With the rise in voice-based search and the popularity of social messaging apps, you can expect fewer customers to read your FAQ section. You can also blame it on the rise in the impatience level of human beings. Instant gratification has become the norm. Whether it’s making a donation or just expressing solidarity with your causes, your audience might get stuck somewhere with questions. Let your chatbot make them feel at home by offering answers to their queries instantly.
To provide a seamless and scalable way to process digital donations without human intervention.
Tech solutions provider Techsoup thinks that installing a chatbot wired for fundraising makes a for an endlessly scalable and friction-free process for raising more money.
[AI bot] Yeshi also has the ability to handle donations via Facebook Messenger by responding to trigger words such as “donate” or “register.”
With options including monthly or one-time donations, Yeshi enables an end-to-end transaction without the need for human assistance. As a result, charity: water has been able to streamline and speed up its donation process and, most importantly, scale up its fundraising as awareness of its mission increases.
To enable the online delivery of services.
Wired magazine writes about a Facebook-delivered AI-powered chatbot that could be considered mental-health therapy in its own right but also warns all conversations with the chatbot are owned by Facebook and are not considered confidential.
Over the past few years, virtual help agents have taken on surprisingly sensitive jobs in modern society: counseling Syrian refugees fleeing civil war, creating quiet spaces of contemplation for millions of Chinese living in densely populated cities, and helping Australians access national disability benefits. Bots have offered help, support, and companionship. But there’s one line none of them have yet crossed: actually treating patients.
That’s just changed, with the release of a talk therapy chatbot that goes by … wait for it … Woebot. Created by a team of Stanford psychologists and AI experts, Woebot uses brief daily chat conversations, mood tracking, curated videos, and word games to help people manage mental health. After spending the last year building a beta and collecting clinical data, Woebot Labs Inc. just launched the full commercial product—a cheeky, personalized chatbot that checks on you once a day for the price of $39 a month.
To improve and widen data-gathering through various forms of anonymous reporting.
Guidestar outlines the many initiatives humanitarian nonprofits are choosing to power via chatbots. Such chatbots cuts out the noise and allow organizations access to better information.
The World Food Program developed and tested the “FoodBot,” a Facebook Messenger bot, to interact with the people they serve by providing information on WFP services, food prices, weather updates, nutrition, and disease prevention. UNICEF created its own bot, U-Report,to engage young people on a variety of issues. The bot, available via Twitter and Facebook Messenger, polls its followers (called “U-Reporters”) on a range of topics and uses the data to help influence public policy. UNICEF’s bot has had some early successes. For example, in Liberia, the bot asked 13,000 young people if teachers at their schools were exchanging grades for sex. Some 86 percent said yes, uncovering a widespread problem and prompting Liberia’s minister of education to work with UNICEF on addressing it.