Do you think 'Chatbots' are a good thing?

Can't say I'm that much of a fan myself, I can see from the company point of view how  they can help reduce workload, reduce cost, and speed up certain levels of 'self assistance'. 

"As technology improves with natural language processing and AI, chatbots will take away revenue from other marketing channels, a recent study examining retail brands by Juniper Networks claims. In fact, retail sales from chatbots will nearly double annually, reaching $112 billion by 2023, the study says. And retailers will see an increase in savings, thanks to the automation of customer sales and support processes.

As martech advances, consumers will also adapt their online behaviors and their expectations for digital interactions will change. According to the report, chatbots are positioned for rapid growth in the retail industry; we need to better understand how that will impact our digital marketing efforts and attribution methodologies going forward".

For these non human interfaces to really work requires the ultimate goal in AI which is underpinned by the 'Turing Test' ; The Turing test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

In summary, you can only get out what you have put in, so if you have ever experienced a customer service call from outsourced call centres, you will know what I mean when I say it can all go wrong when the conversation goes 'off script', well same thing for Chatbots if you ask me, but progress is being made so let's see.

It will definitely be interesting to see if chatbots can manage the interactions required in an open chat environment like Social Media.