There is an abundance of uses for chatbots, the most common being used for business support like customer support and sales. Here at Noodle Factory, we use it to create chat-based learning environments.
Currently, chatbots are impacting sustainability as there’s an increasing number of chatbots supporting research in sustainable and environmental causes.
Let’s look back at Earth Day and celebrate by learning how integrating chatbots in businesses can encourage sustainability in our society.
Technology is constantly evolving, and now we are seeing eco-friendly chatbots that can potentially promote social activism to improve communities.
Chatbots can raise environmental awareness as they can disseminate information to a wide audience. Thanks to the use of natural language processing, more people are responsive to chatbots.
Businesses have been using chatbots in social activism through the sharing and gathering of information. Lokai, a jewellery brand that donates a portion of profits to charities, partnered with Charity: Water to develop a chatbot called Yeshi.
Their goal was to educate the masses and alleviate the impact of the Ethiopian water crisis by allowing users to communicate with Yeshi to understand the daily life of a young Ethiopian girl.
Chatbots are great for industrial research and also help in implementing sustainability programs. Many organisations have used chatbots to do so, including BBC and UNICEF.
BBC released the documentary ‘Planet Earth II’ and collaborated with Facebook Messenger to launch a chatbot promoting environmental awareness. The chatbot created personalised video highlights for users and BBC plans to continue expanding their effort by using their entire natural history archive.
UNICEF created a chatbot that surveyed a wide audience to help them with their research on sexual abuse in Liberia’s schools. The chatbot’s survey showed that 86% of participants said teachers exchanged sex for grades. The shocking results made Liberia’s Minister of Education announce plans to address the problem. The actionable change is just one example of the power chatbots hold when used for social change.
Chatbots also help businesses reduce both waste and cost in many areas.
Firstly, using chatbots in a traditional customer service team reduces commute impact and hiring. Chatbots are able to provide efficient customer service as they can automatically answer and standardise simple customer questions. With chatbots, there is also no need to spend valuable time searching, hiring, and training potential customer service agents.
Secondly, chatbots save on power costs as companies don’t need to pay for lights, desktops, and air conditioning for an entire team in the office. As chatbots take care of basic issues and queries, companies can reduce power usage and increase work efficiency.
Thirdly, chatbots store everything digitally. According to an estimate by Environmental Protection Agency in 2013, the average office worker in America uses 10,000 pieces of paper annually. This number will significantly decrease with the implementation of chatbots.
With chatbots, businesses can streamline processes and make their customer service more efficient while becoming more sustainable.
However, chatbots are simply a tool for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. If organisations want to work towards becoming carbon neutral, they have to instil greener practices.
Carissa is a Singapore-based freelance writer. You'll often find her underwater, on a yoga mat, or in a new restaurant. Contact her at email@example.com.
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