Why now is the moment for Chatbots?

(Jordi Favà) #1


Are the chatbots just a hype or are here to stay? why now? I think that this topic can help to see the future of the chatbots.

From my point of view, there are 3 main reasons why there are chatbots every where:

  1. Technology. Now it allow to build chatbots with some intelligence with AI (but it’s still the beggining)
  2. Channels saturation. Email and the social media channels are saturated… maybe also the chatbots too in the future
  3. The brands can speak with their followers/customers with targeted content for them with a natural language

I think that we have a new chanel with a lot of potential if we use it in a good way.

What do you think?

(Tom park) #2


Is a good topic for discussion. Thanks for kicking it off.

Here is my vision of chatbots:

I expect in the future, to just type the website URL or open the App, and the Bot will just interact and help me navigate to contents without me clicking or swiping everywhere.

Once this happens, I can see the day that the whole home page will be a Bot.

(Billy Runyan) #3

Better yet, I look down at my phone and say: Hey BillyBOT, find me the cheapest new car with great mileage 15 minutes or less from here, get Uber to pick me up and let them know I’m coming for a test drive…

(Jordi Favà) #4

Good approaches!

Some people thinks that the chatbots will be the next browsers. I think that they are not going to be like a browser to spend time looking some products in a ecommerce, for that case we will have VR :slight_smile: but once AI understand the users in many ways, we can go directly for what we need just writing or speaking.

(Willian) #5

Hi Jordi.

As long as AI advances, I see chatbots been used for personal conversation, too. I like to imagine if I could automate my conversations in instant messaging apps. Or better: if i could chose a personality for those conversations, like “Today I’ll let my IM message people like Don Draper”, and this kind of stuff.

I guess this channel will soon be saturated with low-quality bots, but that’s part of the game.

(Jordi Favà) #6

Hi @williansertorio,
Well, I think that actually the channel is already saturated with low-quality bots :smile: it’s seems that all the chabots are like MVP, testing and testing again to know how far we can go with this. I’m sure that we are just at the beginning of the path.

(Andy) #7

Great topic!

I’ve had my head in chatbots for the last few months. There is so much potential. We’ve created one to help supplement the experience at an event at Sydney Opera House, an experiment for a retail experience, and I just created one to help answer questions people had about the arrival of our 3rd child (that last one was for fun).

Huge learnings.
Managing expectations - as soon as you say bots and artificial intelligence, people think they’re going to get a human experience from a robot. We’re way off that. The learning functions in api.ai and wit are great, but they’re reactive, not proactive. People will still assume they can ask anything or speak human and the bot will respond. Best thing to do. Treat it like a robot. Reminds me of when working at Ask Jeeves. People thought that asking questions was the best way to interact, because it was ‘Jeeves’. Reality, it pretty much ran off keywords.

Logic - it’s easy to get carried away with what the bot could do. There are 2 types we’ve been experimenting with. Multi Q&A. Single questions with pre-programmed answers. And structured flow. Where eseentially, we take people down a path and keep the branches as simple as possible. Otherwise you end up in a test and fix merry go round without the confidence to share it out.

Manual - if you’re bot’s in FB messenger it’s really easy to keep an eye on conversations (not on a huge scale of course) and be able to manually jump in and answer questions, while still capturing them and registering answers for any similar questions in future.

Personally, I think bots will become the standard for transaction of information in future. Up to now, that standard has been forms. Forms are definitely better than they have been but they’re still forms. The faster horse if you like. Bots are the car and they’ll be hear to stay. Just my opinion though -would love to debate it.

(Jordi Favà) #8

I’m totally agree with the expectations.
People has to know that they are talking with a bot and not a human, it’s a new channel and we have to teach people how it works. Actually, I think that we have to create bots with a streamline usage by limiting options, and make sure that people has a good experience with them.

In the future the chatbots will be very smart, but they will never be like a human, at least until 5-7 years (or more?)

(Sami Paihonen) #9

Thanks Andy for providing your learnings, I have been searching for such insights as we are enabling chatbots for our clients, but like your users, clients tend to have overblown expectations (these are mostly non-tech companies). If you think about it, voice-guided user assistance is still around even though its lack of performance is used in comedies to make funny fill-in scenese (person shouting at his/her phone since the system at the other end does not understand). Chatbots bring two elements: control on discussion flow and convenience of silence, which enables better context (no need to shout at your phone in Starbucks when trying to land a latte and flight to New York). I agree with notion that Chatbots will be part of transactional services and information enrichment, but the speed of progress is not dictated by the technology - it is guided by people’s view on them, just as Sydney Opera House experience shows.