With Chatbots A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Is IBM Watson Assistant Ramping Up For Web 3.0?

Introduction

What is the Web 3.0?

It is the third generation of the Internet…a network which is underpinned by intelligent interfaces and interactions.

The Web 3.0 will be constituted by software…

IBM Watson Assistant allows for easy imbedding of audio and video with headings and descriptions. Including iframes, maps and more.

A big advantage of Web 3.0 is that a very small team can make significant breakthroughs seeing it is software based.

Amongst other key elements, the Web 3.0 will be defined by personalized bots which serves users directly.

These bots will facilitate intelligent interactions with the user and all relevant devices.

These bots will interact via voice, text and contextual data. Focusing on customer service, support, informational, sales, recommendations and more.

These intelligent conversational bots will not only communicate in text but any appropriate media.

This new iteration of the web will have pervasive bots which will surface in various ways and linked to the context of the user’s interaction.

Imagine a user is reading through your website, and at a particular point they can click on text which takes them to a conversational interface which is contextually linked to where the user clicked.

More about this later…

Imbed Various Media & Content Types With iframes

I particularly like iframes, as rich and dynamic content can be included in the bot response. A title can be added to the iframe, however this is optional.

A link to Google Maps displaying a particular location.

And obviously the URL to the contents of the iframe needs to be added.

Please note, that only the url is required and the iframe html tags should not be included when defining the iframe source.

Maps and navigation options are good use-cases for this type of bot-response.

Other use-cases which come to mind are general information pieces from other sources, like Wikipedia.

Payment processing via iframes, providing access to seamless integration to payment gateways from within the chatbot.

This keeps the user within their medium of choice and negating the friction of moving the user from one medium to another.

Lastly a simple example of linking to Wikipedia and displaying the information within the chatbot frame.

An iframe linking to the Wikipedia entry for IBM.

Here is the iframe configuration options from the Watson Assistant dialog development interface.

Here is the iframe configuration options from the Watson Assistant dialog development interface.

Rich Media With Images, Audio Files & Videos

To Enable Web 3.0, various design affordances need to be easily accessible from a chatbot or Conversational Agent perspective. It would make sense to make these affordances part and parcel of the bot responses.

In the dialog development environment of IBM Watson Assistant, various assistant responses can be defined. The list range from the basic to the more feature rich. Ranging from text, option buttons, to images, Audio, Video, iframes and connecting to an human agent.

In the dialog development environment of IBM Watson Assistant, various assistant responses can be defined. The list range from the basic to the more feature rich. Text, Option buttons, to Images, Audio, Video, iframes and connecting to an human agent.

It is interesting how bot responses have evolved and how comprehensive explanations, tutorials and more are presented to the user. The rich design affordances is not locked into a web design or mediation layer, but is configured within the dialog development portion.

The web presentation configuration is feature rich and various elements can be set sent viewed in real-time.

The web presentation configuration is feature rich and various elements can be set and viewed in real-time. Here is a link to SoundCloud playing a clip, and also a link to YouTube.

Button Options

Buttons have been around for a while, but need to be mentioned. Buttons are especially helpful with constraining responses from the user.

A special use-case for buttons is disambiguation. This is when 2 to 5 intents are application to the user’s utterance, and these options are presented to the user to select the most appropriate one.

Hence affording the user the opportunity to disambiguate the dialog turn, and lending the opportunity to the bot to learn from user input for future iterations.

The representation of the buttons within the try it out pane, and then the web preview.

Here you see the representation of the buttons within the try it out pane, and then the web preview.

Initializing Web Chat With Custom Options

You can create a link to web cat which will open the chatbot window and start the conversation at the specific dialog node. Hence maintaining the context of the conversation.

This can be useful, for example, if you want to send an email to your customers with a link for something like "Click here change your debit order date".

Once clicked, the link will take the user to a website, open web chat, and begin the conversation with "change debit order date" dialog node.

Here is a view of the JavaScript enabling the functionality.

<script>
window.watsonAssistantChatOptions = {
integrationID: "YOUR_INTEGRATION_ID",
region: "YOUR_REGION",
serviceInstanceID: "YOUR_SERVICE_INSTANCE_ID",
pageLinkConfig: {
linkIDs: {
'u35': {
text: 'I would like to change my debit order date'
},
'r23': {
text: 'I need to reset my password'
},
}
}
onLoad: function(instance) {
instance.render();
}
};
setTimeout(function(){const t=document.createElement('script');t.src="https://web-chat.global.assistant.watson.appdomain.cloud/versions/" + (window.watsonAssistantChatOptions.clientVersion || 'latest') + "/WatsonAssistantChatEntry.js";document.head.appendChild(t);});
</script>

Your skill will need to recognize this text and start the conversation appropriately. This text will not be visible to the end user.

Conclusion

With Web 3.0, chatbots will be accessed from text, the web, emails, text messages and more. Conversations will be shorter, with users dropping into chatbot conversation to perform specific tasks…or chat to a live agent.

Contextual awareness will be important…vertically and horizontally.

Vertically as users resume conversations via the same medium, the chatbot should be fully aware of previous conversations and this must inform the context of the current conversation.

Horizontally as users move from one medium to another. Having a conversation over the phone, with a service representative. And later initiating a conversation with the chatbot via the same issue, contextual awareness must be maintained.

NLP/NLU, Chatbots, Voice, Conversational UI/UX, CX Designer, Developer, Ubiquitous User Interfaces. www.cobusgreyling.me