Disruption
Recommended Read #8: Chatbots

We’re all spending a lot more time talking online – but an increasing number of those conversations are not with other people. Whether you love them or hate them, bots are clearly the future when it comes to online interactions.

But defining a chatbot is becoming more difficult as new technologies enable new forms of online dialog. A chatbot can be as simple as a pre-programmed script or as complicated as AI powered experts that couple potentially pass the Turing test.

One realm where chatbots are becoming increasing popular is eCommerce. A well-built bot can help a consumer clear away the online clutter quickly so that they can zero in on just the product they need. Unfortunately, a poorly implemented bot can lead to frustration and lost opportunities.

So this week we decided to get caught up on the latest trends in the world of conversational interfaces to find out who’s winning the conversation game and who’s just full of hot air.

First up is an article from Chatbots magazine by the Product Designers at K2 about what they learned from building a chatbot for the banking industry. Read the full article to find out what tricks they borrowed from old school first person shooter games to help improve the efficiency of online financial transactions.

Our next article comes from the folks at InVision, who have put together an excellent tutorial on how to write a chatbot script that sounds convincingly natural. These tips can help you create a flow that’s fun for consumers but not creepy.

Chatbots aren’t restricted to mobile apps and web pages, however. They’re showing up everywhere, including Facebook Messenger. Read this article from Chatbots Magazine to find out who’s getting the most out of this channel – and to find out when a chatbot is actually a “catbot”.

Our friend, Dom Nicastro, a senior staff writer at CMS Wire has entered the chat-bot arena with this survey of opinions on how to build a bot that doesn’t suck. Read his article and find out how to avoid the dreaded “blocked bot”.

Finally, we hear from Alan Nichol, co-founder and CTO of the open source conversational AI company Rasa. Alan explains that today’s chatbots are just the beginning. This article on the O’Reilly site shows what chatbots might look like when they get truly contextual and personalized.

I hope that you found these articles entertaining and informative. Next time you talk to a chatbot, tell them CoreMedia says “Hi”.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug HeiseDoug Heise

Doug Heise

Vice President Marketing

Doug Heise leads CoreMedia’s global marketing efforts with special focus on Strategy, Product Marketing and Analyst relationship. Doug Heise started his career at CoreMedia as Global Director of Product Marketing. Before joining the company, he served as Head of Strategy for BBC Technology’s North American digital media team and led product marketing efforts for Hewlett-Packard’s Digital Media Platform. As an independent consultant, he has worked for a range of Fortune 100 companies including Visa, Microsoft, and Cisco. Doug Heise holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He is married and father of a son.

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