Here's how your chatbot can get a personality!
Sree Vijaykumar
Sree Vijaykumar
From the Editor's Desk
When you chat through your bank's website or on your favorite food delivery app, you may be interacting with bots (chatbots or programs that mimic human conversations). Most bots are very basic today, but are quickly "learning on the job" and getting better in handling customer inquiries. Soon, they will be able to sell (and cross-sell/upsell) to you and engage with you in conversation. This sort of engagement requires bots to have a personality, have opinions, a sense of humour - like humans. Ari Zilnik, a New York based user experience designer and co-creator of Emoji Salad - an SMS-based chatbot game - uses 'spectrums' when defining a chatbot's personality. "I find it useful to draw on personalities I am familiar with when I design a chatbot's personality", he says. "What I end up doing is creating a few opposing spectrums of traits - for example I might create a scale with 'dry humor/silly humor', and another that is 'enthusiastic/understated'. I typically have about 6-8 of these spectrums. I then create a list of about ten people - actors, friends, politicians, characters - and try to sort them across these spectrums. Finally, I look at the sorted lists, and I determine which character/person within that spectrum would best serve my user." This approach to personas might leave you with a personality that has "the enthusiasm of Aziz Ansari, paired with Obama's dry sense of humor" Ari describes. This process allows for a more relatable example to refer to when designing dialogue. More here

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