Superintendent News

Technology is changing the world.  Most of the time, I think it is for the better, but occasionally I long for the simplicity of days gone by.  Take for example, a recent shopping experience.  The self-checkout station and I had a serious conversation about the “bagging area.”  I had scanned my item which happened to be a bag of water softener salt.  I don’t recall if the machine wanted the item in the bagging area or was upset that the salt had been removed from the bagging area.  I do know neither taking the bag of salt away nor leaving it there solved the problem.  

Fortunately, a friendly store associate came to my rescue.  Apparently, there was a “skip bagging” option available at some point in the transaction that I had missed.  She recommended this in the future - especially when purchasing heavy items.  I learned a new trick and got a nice workout hauling the bag of salt in and out of my shopping cart.  

At home, I might ask Alexa to play a particular song or answer a mundane question like the height of Sylvester Stallone.  When driving, I often rely on Siri to provide me with directions.  If I am in the mood for a more cultural experience, I will set Siri’s voice to a British accent.  

Next week, I am going to participate in a Minnesota Association of School Administrator’s master class on ChatGPT - a form of artificial intelligence.  

As technology has continued to evolve, companies have looked for new ways to improve their customer service offerings. One of the most promising developments in this area has been the rise of chatbots. These automated systems can provide customers with speedy, accurate responses to their inquiries, making them a valuable tool for businesses of all kinds. 

Chatbots function by using artificial intelligence to interact with customers in natural language. They are able to answer questions, provide product recommendations, and even assist with online purchases. Because they are able to handle multiple conversations at once, chatbots can make customer service more efficient and scalable, freeing up staff to focus on more complex issues.

Chatbots are also able to learn from each customer interaction, improving their abilities and accuracy with each exchange. This means that over time, chatbots will become more effective at meeting customer needs, leading to higher levels of satisfaction and loyalty.

Another advantage of chatbots is that they are available 24/7, meaning that customers can find help whenever they need it. This is especially important for businesses that operate internationally or have customers in different time zones. Chatbots are a cost-effective solution for providing round-the-clock customer service, as they do not require overtime pay or additional staffing.

In addition to these benefits, chatbots are also able to collect data on customer behavior and preferences, which can then be used to improve products and services. This data can be analyzed to reveal patterns and trends, allowing companies to tailor their offerings to meet specific customer needs.

Despite these numerous benefits, some critics argue that chatbots lack the personal touch and empathy of human customer service representatives. However, as chatbot technology evolves, they are becoming better at detecting and responding to customer emotions, and can even recognize when a customer is frustrated and escalate the issue to a human representative if necessary.

Chatbots are a valuable tool for any business that wants to improve its customer service offerings. They are efficient, scalable, available around the clock, and can provide valuable data on customer behavior. As technology continues to evolve, chatbot capabilities will only grow, making them an indispensable part of the customer service landscape in the years to come.

These are interesting times.  As technology and its application continue to evolve it is going to have profound impacts on our daily lives and on education.  It even changed this particular column - the bulk of which was written by a chatbot.