Trust Me, I'm A Bot
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Trust Me, I'm A Bot

Building Digital Trust Using Conversational AI

About the Book

Chatbots are all the rage and creating your own chatbot is easy, really easy. Unfortunately it's just as easy to build a frustrating experience leaving jaded users hesitant to use your shiny new bot. Humans are rapidly moving towards a world where bots are a natural part of everyday life, with today's chatbots just being the tip of the iceberg. As these everyday bots become more prevalent, it will be crucial that humans feel able to trust the bots. Consider financial advice as an example; a highly personalised, heavily regulated and high-stakes profession. What would it take for a human to make some of their biggest financial decisions on the advice of a bot?

In this book follow the author as he examines what it would take to build a trustworthy digital financial adviser; learn the basics of bot technology, understand what creates a frustrating experience and explore the importance of moving towards trustworthy bots.

Part 1: Conversational AI

  • An introduction to the field of Conversational AI and the technology behind it. Examine conversation semantics, components of a conversational bot and the importance of natural language processing and understanding. The section includes a personal examination of chatbot platforms c. mid-2018 including suggestions and recommendations on building bots for the New Zealand market.

Part 2: Trust in Human-Computer Interactions

  • A brief literature review on trust, trustworthiness and how they relate to human-computer interactions. Key attributes of trust are drawn out and put to the test and mechanisms that humans instinctively use to build relationships are examined. These human concepts are mapped to a Digital entity in a discussion around building a trustworthy bot. Finally, the importance of protecting trust and implications for bot designers are examined.

Part 3: Applying Conversational AI to Financial Advice

  • Key concepts of conversational AI and trust are applied to financial advice use cases. A brief examination of the regulatory environment overseeing financial advice in New Zealand is followed by a review of the most advanced examples of conversational AI and trust in the finance industry. The project concept, earnAI, is introduced followed by an account of the approach to testing desirability, viability and feasibility highlighting key outcomes and learning points.

This book was the author's final submission for a Tech Futures Lab Masters Degree in Technological Futures supported by the Bank of New Zealand.

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    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Ethics & Technology
    • Machine Learning
    • Psychology
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About the Author

Allan Froy
Allan Froy

Allan holds a Masters in Technological Futures and spends his time finding ways to harness the power of emerging & disruptive technologies to leave the world in a better place. He is a thought leader in the juxtaposition of Trust and Conversational AI, as well as the application of chatbots in disruptive business models and the implications of trust in governing distributed software systems.

Table of Contents


Financial Advice Challenge

Research Outline

Part 1: Conversational AI

Anatomy of a Conversation

Anatomy of a Bot

Building a Conversation

Building a Bot

Part 2: Trust in Human-Computer Interactions

Trust and Trustworthiness

Building and Breaking Relationships

What Makes a Trustworthy Bot?

Protecting Trust

Part 3: Applying Conversational AI to Financial Advice


Examples of Conversational AI or Trust in Financial Services

Introducing earnAI

Testing Desirability

Customer Interviews

Early Prototype Builds

Amazon Alexa & Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML)

Limitations of the Technology Demonstrator

Introducing Rasa

Speech Recognition

Design Sprint

Building Towards an MVP


The Future of earnAI

Next Steps


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