When people think of Artificial Intelligence, the image most likely to come to mind might be computers playing chess, or a time-travelling robots.
What they may not think of is a virtual assistant helping new parents get their babies to sleep.
Little Ones is an app that allows new parents to talk to sleep consultants 24 hours a day, via AI technology says co-founder Amanda Snedden.
“We have 12 human sleep consultants based all over the world. While they can answer a lot of questions, sometimes they can get overwhelmed and that is when Lee takes over,” Snedden says.
Lee , is a chatbot, a text-based piece of technology that is able to understand and answer questions in written sentences.
Customers are able to write a question to Lee through a chat function. The AI will recognise what question they are asking and instantly provide an answer in text format.
The chatbot has allowed the business to grow much faster, Snedden says.
Little Ones is not alone in this trend. Because of successive lockdowns shifting consumer spending online, more businesses are using chatbots to deal with an influx of customers.
Amanda Snedden and Nicky Barker, founders of Little Ones are using AI technology to help parents get their newborn babies to sleep.
Tim Warren, the chief executive of Ambit, the company that built Lee, says he has never been busier trying to meet demand.
At the Ambit offices, Warren places a birth certificate on the wall for every chatbot the company creates, each with its own name and avatar.
But lately the company has been building so many chatbots, space is running out on the wall.
“These concepts have been around for quite some time, but it is only very recently that the computing power required to make these machines work are able to be available to regular businesses,” Warren says.
For Warren, the goal for a chatbot is not to fool people into thinking they are talking to a human, but to make them enjoy the experience of talking to a machine.
The most difficult part about this is to get the language of the response right, he says.
“It is very easy to get something wrong with this technology, it is quite hard to get something right.
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