Hiring for customer service vacancies could one day become a thing of the past for HR departments, if the rise of chatbots continues to gather pace.

A logistics organisation in Dubai, Aramex, has launched a bilingual chatbot on Facebook Messenger. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deal with questions from customers about shipment tracking and delivery times, and is thought to be one of the first mainstream bots from a private sector business in the region.

It has been named the ‘Aramex Bot’ and is able to carry out personalised conversations in English and Arabic, 24 hours a day. It has initially been launched in the UAE but will eventually be rolled out to all of Aramex’s Middle East locations.

“Aramex Bot provides users with a convenient way to easily find the nearest Aramex locations, track shipments and share preferred delivery location,” said a statement from Aramex. “It also enables customers in the UAE to schedule a delivery for personalised shipments and e-commerce parcels.”

The chatbot can also pick up on customer satisfaction levels from keywords used in the conversation.

AI has the capability to “reshape HR,” according to industry experts including CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese. Many experts believe it is going to change the way we live and that AI could potentially perform some of HR professionals’ simpler tasks.

Last month, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced that its own chatbot had answered more than 270,000 customer enquires since the beginning of the year. Of those, 204,000 were through the organisation’s website, 67,000 on its smart app, 3,000 through Facebook and 528 through Amazon’s Alexa system.

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