10 Oct 2017

AI- and NLP-Powered Communication Can Be Made More Affordable

Chatbots have begun to make inroads into the business realities of several verticals in earnest now. The innovation is disruptive enough to cause many to mull over embarking on the trend. Small wonder lots of folks are curious about how much the thing would set them back for if they do. Is it not that difficult to size up the amount of time and funds you need to commit when you know exactly what you need. But what if you don’t? Asking how much a chatbot costs is akin to asking how dear a car or a dress can get: it all hinges upon your needs and wants. Let us see if we can define those and try to make some calculations. In making these calculations, we will use the rates, quoted by Eastern-European software providers. If you are looking to automate a relatively simple task for not so demanding a business niche (no overly complicated workflows or reinforced security requirements, please), you do not need your chatbot integrated with any external systems and the functionality you need developed can, overall, be referred to as boilerplate, you can land in the region of $ 5-15K.

Please note, that in this case, your chatbot will be interface-driven and its communicative ability will be limited to pronouncements in response to your visitor selecting one of the available options. Notably, even simple chatbots for the Healthcare vertical can be more expensive due to the more complicated workflows, numerous regulations and the need to provide corresponding validations, even simple. In most instances, the same holds true for eCommerce.  

However, if you want your chatbot to actually converse with your clientele, you must be prepared to shell out upwards of $ 30-40 grand for the basic solution.

As chatbots are generally viewed as a means of reaching new, overseas markets, it often makes sense to make them multilingual. The cost of embedding the multilingual ability and making your chatbot bilingual from the outset is around $ 5000-7000 ($ 3000-5000 being the additional development costs (which vary depending on the number of scripts, utilized by your bot) and $ 1500 being the cost of translation). The cost of adding each new language to the initial bilingual language combination would be around $5000.

Another price-defining factor would be the need to make your chatbot more interactive in terms of the actions your visitor can take. Providing the ability to send a form or make a booking will render your chatbot app more expensive.

If we are talking of a AI-powered chatbot to support a medium-sized retail eCommerce app or another SME, with the add-to-cart ability, several languages, and integrated with 3-5 social networks, its cost of development will fall within the range of  $ 35 000-100 000 $.

Lastly and importantly, one should bear in mind that no matter how expensive your chatbot blueprint can get, you can, usually, cut your costs by 40-50% if you outsource your development to a good offshore location.  For chatbots that require both software development and linguistic eminence, Ukraine, which is widely renowned for both, makes an ideal outsourcing destination.  

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