IENGLISH LISTENING: Conversational Commerce (Advanced)

The Rise of Conversational Commerce (Talking Bots in Business)

DESCRIPTION: A segment from RTE Radio in Ireland about how bots are changing the way businesses communicate with their customers.



Bot (noun): Robot

Ubiquitous (adjective): Present everywhere

Devise (verb): Create

Spiral (verb): Move up or down dramatically

Perils (noun): Dangers


It is important to consider the ___________ when producing a bot's voice:

The Bot understands our ___________

Logo Grab is used to detect:

Ireland needs to catch up with other countries in Conversational Commerce

Hopefully in the future, technology will...

What does Liam ask Siri?







Presenter: Well last week saw the inaugural ConverCon get underway in the Science Gallery in Dublin where speakers from companies like Facebook and Google came together to discuss conversational commerce. It’s a term that was first coined by former Uber developer Chris Messina. Essentially, conversational commerce is the real-time customer communication through messenger applications and BOTS like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. We sent our very own Chat Bot Liam Garrity to suss out how conversational commerce is changing the way businesses talk to their customers.

Paul: So the trick is to find small places in your business that AI makes a difference and start doing specific tasks for the item.

Liam:You mightn’t have heard the term conversational commerce before but you’ve probably used it.
Paul: Conversational commerce is when you’re walking around your house and you’re saying “hey Alexa, can you turn down the lights?” or “where’s my car?” or “where’s my kids?”

Liam: That’s Paul Sweeney co-founder of ConverCon.

Paul: “You’re speaking to the world and the world is answering back.

Liam: Show me my emails.

Bot: Checking your mail. You have at least 25 emails since yesterday.

Paul: But it’s also about how you interact through things like facebook Messenger and whatsapp so as we’re talking back and forth messaging, it understands that hey we’re trying to get into town maybe these guys want to get a cab and it inserts into our conversation the option for us to book a cab. It understands our conversations and it gives us something to complete the action. Is that standing order cleared? Asking these kind of questions of a service conversationally is what customers are going to want.

Elizabeth: I’m Elizabeth McGlynn I’m product content shadow just at Intercom. Intercom is a customer messaging platform it’s based in Dublin. We’re headquartered in San Francisco but our founders are Irish and all of our R and D happens in Dublin.

Liam: Elizabeth is intercoms product content strategist. She defines and shapes the product’s tone of voice, so when you ask a question she has devised an answer.

Elizabeth: Basically I write it. So I work with a designer and together we figure out who we’re talking to what we’re talking about what we should say if you think about it like a choose your own adventure book, you know the books from the 80s if you if you read a lot of books in the 80s, which I did, you have these little different paths that the journey can take. So you’re figuring out all those different paths and you’re thinking about what kind of questions someone might be asking, how they feel. And then from that you’re figuring out what’s the tone of voice and sometimes that can be different for different types of people, different audiences. Very much like, you know, writing anything you have to figure out who your audience is and how you should sound.

Liam: What’s today’s temperature?

Bot: The high temperature today will be 14 degrees and the low will be 4 degrees

Elizabeth: Usually a lot of the bots that you’ll see are very much kind of one conversation so they’re taking care of one thing ordering coffee or ordering anything and it’s very transactional so there’s not that many steps in the process. So what’s interesting is thinking about how does that scale to different use cases and in a way that doesn’t just spiral out of control or do things that feel uncomfortable or awkward. We would never want to design something that makes people feel like this is a crazy bot that’s talking to me and it’s not it’s not paying attention to my needs.

Liam: Open the pod bay doors Al

Bot: I’m sorry Dave I’m afraid I can’t do that


Maeve: I’m Maeve O’Gorman and I’m the digital strategy lead for DHI healthcare. What we’re here today is to demonstrate our first chatbox, our first foray into the space is called Vee. So Vee is designed to be your running buddy. So what we’ve built into Vee is a whole pile of content based on customer research and customer feedback about what they need to help them get motivated to get running. Vee is built on the Facebook Messenger platform. Facebook did a brilliant thing for AI and chatbots in general whereby they made a development platform for chat bots open to anyone.

Liam: So when you’re on Facebook you search for Vee by DHI. That’s spelt V-E-E. It will actually start to ask you questions to figure out how it can be most useful to you. So it’s programmed with lots of different content, it’s programmed with lots of different useful information and it can be turned off at any time you’re sick of it.

Alessandro: I’m Alessandro Presla I’m a co-founder of Logo Grab which is artificial intelligence company specialized in detecting logos in pictures and videos.

Liam: Alessandro’s background is in artificial intelligence. In fact one of his biggest research projects was in YouTube detecting cat videos

Alejandro: My research was absolutely spectacular from a visual perspective because you will be able to find all these cute little cats in different poses and rolling in different ways.

Liam: With Logo Grab, Alessandro took this research a step further. Their product finds brand logos amongst the billions of pictures shared online. There’s loads of ways it can be used by companies including social media monitoring but Alessandro is excited about a recent new usage which is…

Alessandro: Compliance, meaning detecting counterfeit items online this is a massive problem for companies like eBay Amazon Alibaba thanks to our technology millions and millions of fraud are prevented every day.

Vujama: Hey there, welcome to typeform. We’re trying to make the way people interact with their customers and employees a little more human. So I’m the UX lead at Tech forum.

Liam: That’s Vujama Jambosic.

Vujama: Our forums deliver one question at a time it’s kind of the way you would have conversation with a person right? Maybe eventually technology can be ubiquitous in a way so that it’s not so much that we have to do something it’s that technology is able to do things for us and recognize when we need something or don’t need something. There’s a lot of opportunities and perils in that path so we have to be intelligent and smart about it. Look ahead.

Liam: Back with ConverCon founder Paul Sweeney. He says Ireland is perfectly placed to be a leader in conversational commerce.

Paul: We have all the players here. We’ve all platform players. We have a whole layer of very good software companies here like swerve, intercom web EO or looking at these platforms

Liam: So there’s really just one other question on my mind where are my keys Siri?
Bot: It will probably be in the second to last place you look, does that help?

Liam: No.