Square Acquires AI firm Eloquent Labs

Square on announced its acquisition of Eloquent Labs, an AI tech company which automates responses to customer questions and feedback, according to a Square blog post.

Square stated that Eloquent’s AI services can level the playing field for businesses of all sizes by providing sellers efficient ways to interact with their customers.

Recently, in 2017, Eloquent Labs raised $1.5 million in seed funding.

With Eloquent Lab’s technology, Square aims to advance messaging across its entire ecosystem.

It’s still unclear that how Square plans to use Eloquent Lab’s technology. The acquisition is part of a broader trend of retailers and ancillary companies adopting chat by technology to engage with consumers.

A recent study by Juniper Research estimated a good atmosphere for chatbots. It stated that retail sales from chatbot-based interactions are forecast to drive $112 billion by 2023.

In certain cases, companies have been using artificial intelligence and speech recognition to engage with consumers in more creative ways. For instance, The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and its witty and sassy chatbot, “Jules”. As more major retailers deploy AI and chatbot tools, researchers anticipate that customers will become more comfortable with them, but it will be a long time before they replace the human interaction. According to 2018 Sitel Group report, about 70% of consumers said they would rather speak to a human customer service representative than a chatbot or digital customer service rep.

Though the platform has positioned the acquisition as a move for small business owners, it is cloudy how many independent merchants currently use its platform. There has been an increase among small business owners to utilize technology that was formerly only available to larger corporations.

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