At myclever™ Lab, we’re constantly seeking out innovative ways for consumers to interact with brands – and we love building stuff that does it with user experience at its heart. Chat bots aren’t new technology – simple bots have been is use for years, but have been pretty small fry until very recently.
So, why the hype now?
Bots have needed the right place and time to find accessibility for users on a large scale. With apps like Slack and Facebook’s Messenger Platform creating the right environment – a mix of ever-increasing audience, open APIs and some practical user cases – developers are turning to chat bots to fulfil interaction design in an incredibly user-friendly way.
Recent improvements to the accessibility of open sourced tools, like Facebook’s acquired AI wit.ai and Google’s NPL Parsey McParseface (no word of a lie!), are building confidence amongst developers in the potential long term gains of building intelligent learning mechanisms.
In fact, our first launch coincides perfectly with myclever Agency’s research. SASbot – the UK’s first comprehensive ‘event bot’ will support SAScon, Manchester’s Search, Analytics and Social conference this week. SASbot allows users to interact with the events programme through natural language processing, finding out about speakers, the venue and most importantly where the free drinks are coming from. Neat huh?
Bots like SASbot are great for industry events – the audience is tech savvy, the remit is relatively simple and the constraints of AI are understood by its users. However, outside of industry, audiences expect a lot more and only a handful of bots have been released thus far. The NBA Finals bot – an interactive highlight reel – is a good example of what we can expect from brands in the short term. The user journey is process driven with with limited parameters and the bot remains void of any real AI learning. That said, it’s fun to interact in a new way – and the ability for consumers to manage branded content brings a welcome change to marketing audiences.
In the long term, we can look forward to the rapid adoption of virtual assistants. As technology and understanding advances we’ll hardly have to interact with bots at all – once they learn about us as consumers and developers form universal user experiences it’s very likely they’ll merge seamlessly into our daily lives.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Adoption can take a while. Let’s not forget the long and dubious roadmap for virtual reality – adoption relies on the readiness of the consumer.
So it’s with great timing that myclever Agency have commissioned a report to help brands understand the temperature of the UK consumer right now. The first look report is free to download and gives a solid view on the frustrations of online commerce and customer service, the sentiment of consumers towards chat bots and highlights some compelling use cases.
I hope you find it as useful as we have – download the white paper to check it out.