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Power Virtual Agents: Making Chatbots Intelligent

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Today’s post is the second in a two-part series dedicated to exploring Microsoft Power Virtual Agents. In the first post, we focused on what Power Virtual Agents is and what it can do. Today we’ll examine the difference between Chatbots and Intelligent Chatbots, as well as how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can elevate chatbot capabilities and improve the user experience.

Let’s start with a couple of basic definitions to lay the groundwork for our discussion:

  • A chatbot is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) software that simulates a natural language conversation (or a chat) with a user. A user types a question into the chat and – based on predefined rules programmed into the bot – it analyzes the request to determine user intent and extract relevant keywords or phrases. For example, when you say “Hey Alexa, what is the temperature outside,” the bot recognizes “temperature” and “outside,” and based on its internal GPS that recognizes your precise location, it pulls the information from any number of sources and provides an answer.
  • An intelligent chatbot is a conversational agent that can accurately process the user’s input even if there is an error. Simply put, the algorithms used in intelligent chatbots are more sophisticated than those used in standard chatbots. For example, an intelligent chatbot is at work when you type into Google “What is the nrme of the Tom Hanks movre where he plays an astranot” and Google responds by saying:
    “Showing results for What is the name of the Tom Hanks movie where he plays an astronaut
    Search instead for What is the nrme of the Tom Hanks movre where he plays an astranot

Bots (both standard and intelligent) interpret the user’s input and return the most relevant answer available in the form of:

  • Predefined text
  • Data pulled from a database
  • Text retrieved from a knowledge base
  • Contextualized information based on the information supplied by the user
  • A follow-up clarification question

Power Virtual Agents: Setting the Standard for Intelligent Chatbots

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents (PVA) is an extremely intelligent chatbot that is revolutionizing customer service delivery, particularly because PVA is a low/no-code application.

In Microsoft’s own words, “Our mission is to democratize conversational AI, empower every individual and every organization on the planet to easily build, manage, and use intelligent bots—all without requiring any coding or AI expertise. To realize this vision, we will continue to introduce advanced AI capabilities in Power Virtual Agents, allowing bots to improve without any maker intervention.”

Through AI and continuous learning, every PVA conversation makes the next one better. For example, based on responses to “did you mean?” questions and “showing results for…” statements used when there was no exact match, the bot learns and improves. Eventually, it would need to ask clarifying questions – it will simply provide the answer to the question it knows you intended to ask! And the more users the better, because the learning occurs exponentially faster when the bot is being fed  messages from a wide range of users.

Improving Personalization

Through the course of conversations with users, PVA bots remember and reuse information provided earlier to enhance and personalize future conversations. For example, if a user mentions their name, email, or zip code, these properties are stored and leveraged in later conversations without having to re-prompt the user. The next step in the evolution of PVA bots is to begin leveraging data stored in Microsoft Dataverse or populated by other apps (e.g., Portals or Dynamics 365 Customer Service) as context variables to improve personalization and conversational fluidity.

And that’s how Power Virtual Agents is making chatbots intelligent. Once again, please revisit our first installment in this two-part series, where we explored the basics of PVA. Also, we invite you to learn more about taking Power Platform to the next level in your organization. Happy PVA’ing!

Joe CRM
By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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