Friday, September 23, 2016

The 'Bot' Controversy: Revolutionary or Sham?

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Thanks to Facebook's Messenger platform, the term bot has exploded. Many big names are investing in this type of technology, but there seems to be a bit of a debate surrounding the topic of bots. 

When they were first announced on Facebook, it was an exciting new thing for people to try. But that excitement quickly dwindled when users were receiving more error messages than answers. This caused some major frustration, and put a lot of doubt in peoples' minds on whether this would really stick. Even Facebook Messenger chief, David Marcus spoke about how bots have been over hyped, and under delivered, "...bots have suffered from a perception that they are not nearly as useful as they were advertised to be earlier this year by tech giants including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft" (The Verge).So, the question remains, are bots (aka Virtual Assistants) going to revolutionize consumer lives and businesses, or is it a dying trend. 

From our perspective, Virtual Assistants have been improving businesses for a while now (since 1999 in our case), and consumers have already been growing accustomed to using AI for a few years (primarily when Siri came out, followed by other Virtual Personal Assistants). It is apparent that the market has continued to grow tremendously over the past decade or so. 

While this market is strengthening, it is obvious that AI and Virtual Assistants are not at their peak, and there is plenty of work to be done from a technology vantage point, but we believe, and leading analyst firms agree, that Virtual Assistants are here to stay. In fact, a few years ago, Gartner made a prediction that "Virtual personal assistant usage in business grows more quickly in 2017 and 2018 than iPad usage did in 2010 and 2011" (Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2014 and Beyond).

noHold has been creating Virtual Assistants for over 15 years, so it is exciting to see the progression AI has made from the beginning, and the potential for the future. As for the present, it is important for companies to produce quality bots that provide interactive and diagnostic conversations, instead of creating static experiences that causes customers to come out unsatisfied. Here are 3 elements to keep in mind to make sure your bot delivers:

  • Provide a great end user experience
  • Easy to create and maintain by administrators
  • Connects to multiple channels

These are just a few, for more information/tips on how to implement a quality bot please contact us here.

What is your opinion on the bot revolution? How can they improve? And where do you see them going in the future?
Have a wonderful weekend!