How to avoid UI dead ends when building your chatbot

Artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) have already come a long way, yet many users tend to focus on the limitations of these technologies and are quick to judge bots based on the holes in their user experience. Product designers encourage a hybrid of text, buttons and other interactive features to compensate for limitations of NLP and A.I.

However, in every text-based messaging interface, the text input field is the primary mode of interaction. Bots should be prepared to provide a response to any type of input they receive. There are a number of strategies developers can execute to help mitigate dead ends that lead to user frustration and instead optimize their conversational experience. Read more

Chatbots: Are they better without the chat?

The title of Kik CEO Ted Livingston’s recent Medium post, discussing the relative failure of early brand attempts at chatbots, says it all.

With so many marketers parroting on about customer experience, we may have temporarily lost sight of what users really value – speed and convenience. To borrow a phrase, ‘don’t make me think.’

Kik is a bot platform, which obviously makes Livingston best placed to make an authoritative assertion on the subject.

Here, he adds some more context to the idea of conversation as a red herring:

“I believe we’ll look back on the early emphasis on ‘conversational commerce’ as a mistake. Read more

The Big, Fat Myth About Bots

The hype around bots seemed to peak earlier this year, when Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said that bots would be as big as apps. Many technology experts have since predicted that the era of apps is over and the golden age of bots is upon us. But the Silicon Valley hype cycle might be getting ahead of itself.

Ted Livingston, the founder of popular chat app Kik, suggests the industry has become disillusioned with bots recently because our expectations about being able to chat to them, as we would with another human, are way too high. Read more

White House bot lets Americans FB message Obama

The White House on Wednesday launched a Facebook Messenger bot that will allow the public to communicate with President Obama and the administration.

“Face-to-face time is a little harder to come by these days, but technology makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection to send a message to the President and his Administration,” Jason Goldman, the White House’s chief digital officer, wrote in a blog post.

“The White House’s Messenger bot, a first of its kind for any government the world over, will make it as easy as messaging your closest friends.”

Bots in Facebook Messenger, a standalone product with more than a billion users worldwide, send automated responses to users. They have been employed by several news organizations and brands hoping to form a more intimate bond with their audiences. Read more

How chatbots will help local business across the world

Chatbots are popping up everywhere lately.

You have most likely seen them on Facebook Messenger, maybe even Skype or Kik.

Now, the big brands are starting to leverage chatbots to promote their products. For example, McDonald’s has been using a Kik chatbot to interact with its fans. You can ask the McDonald’s chatbot about the latest promotion in your area, prices of the items on their menus, and much more.

A conversation between customers and businesses, regardless of chatbots, is becoming more common. According to a recent survey carried out by Facebook IQ, 63 percent of consumers are using messaging apps (in this case, Facebook Messenger) to contact companies, find information, and buy products. Read more

What The Tech? Chatbots

They can help fix your car, save you money, even save you a trip to the doctor. They’re called ‘chatbots’, and you can use them right now in Facebook.

Want someone to search and find coupons? Pennycat, will comb the internet looking for discount codes. You simply send pennycat a facebook message with where you’re shopping. I say “Macy’s” and the Pennycat bot searched for and found discount codes that will save me money on coffee makers, shipping and other items at checkout. Read more

From robot uprisings to machine learning and smart conversations – what’s all the fuss about chatbots?

Move aside trusted app, the tech industry has a new technological darling – one which courts the public eye with attention-grabbing headlines about robot uprisings, revolution and the death of the human workforce.  Despite its small lexical size, this new darling has already taken on the grunt work of automation and now stands to revolutionise customer engagement, positioning itself as the likely backbone of the much anticipated ‘Machine Age’. Read more