Most readers are likely unfamiliar with chatbot… Many have probably never heard the term. That’s ok as chatbot is an emerging technology which is just making its way into our lives.
Chatbot combines artificial intelligence with instant messaging, allowing humans to interact with bots. This can have far reaching applications including:
- Customer Service
- Interactive Toys
- Financial, Legal or Medical Advice
- Dating Tips
- Concierge Service
- Styling Tips
The Amazon Echo device serves as a good example of how AI and chatbot are beginning to make their way into our daily lives.
This morning I was contacted by a chatbot employed by Facebook with regard to a website which I just am in the process of launching… Ostum.com. Ostum is probably my cheesiest website to date. Have a look at Ostum.com and you’ll understand why.
I set-up Facebook and Twitter accounts for my new website the other day. This morning I received a message on Facebook Messenger from Facebook Business. Here’s what it said,
“Hi, I’m a bot designed by Facebook to help you set up your Page, ‘Ostum.com‘.
I can help you quickly add a few more pieces of information to make it easier for people to connect with your business. Want to do that now?”
I’ve been interested in chatbot since it came on my radar last year. I’ve done quite a bit of research and even purchased a few chatbot related brands since them. Of course I had to respond to the helpful Facebook bot assigned to my account.
My experience was mixed. Here’s why:
What’s Your Name
Apparently this chatbot didn’t have a name. When I asked for its name it abruptly ended our conversation. Maybe I was getting too personal but this just seemed rude to me.
What Did I Accomplish
I did accomplish something but not too much. The chatbot reminded me that I didn’t add my email address to the Facebook page. It asked me if I would like him or her to add it and provided a “Sure” and a “No” button for my selection. I selected “Sure” and then the bot confirmed the email address I was adding. One more “Sure” and it was added. Next, we went through the same process to add the phone number. Mission accomplished!
When Was I Contacted
This bot had the bad taste to contact me at 2:44 AM Pacific Time. Generally not a great time to have your Facebook messenger send you a notification beep. As Facebook is located in Northern California, one would suspect this bot would have known better, unless they outsource their bots from far away lands.
Where Will This Technology Go
In one direction… Up! This burgeoning technology is in its infancy. The widespread applications for this technology are enormous. Over the next two decades I expect that today’s technologies will seem as anachronistic as our 14.4 modems and 386 processors do today. New opportunities will be created while at the same time, many job positions will be displaced. Convenience will continue to supersede privacy.
This is the natural evolution of the technological revolution. We will continuously strive to improve upon what we have… For better or worse. We might get to a point in time when certain technologies are looked at with disfavor. Future generations might decide to disconnect from some technologies en masse and to reconnect with each other. Only time will tell.
Were you contacted by Facebook’s chatbot recently? I’d love to hear about your experience and would value your thoughts and comments.