What exactly is a chatbot? It is simply a software service that allows users to have a natural language conversation in either text or voice to return either information or an action. Sometimes chatbots are referred to as talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, interactive agent, or personal assistant. They started generating attention in 2015 and are now incorporated in our households, education programs, and businesses.

Today, consumer chatbot devices are in millions of homes all over the U.S. The most popular household chatbots are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant. These chatbots are capable of setting alarms, playing audiobooks, streaming podcasts, and providing the weather, traffic, and news. One of the top-selling items for Amazon during 2017 Black Friday was Amazon’s Echo Dot.

Chatbots are also used by businesses. In 2016, the Swedish multinational clothing-retail company, H&M partnered with messenger app, Kik, to allow customers to see, share, and purchase products in their digital catalogue. Quick service restaurant, Taco Bell partnered with Slack to allow customers to use commands to add or remove ingredients from their order within the app. And the American pizza chain, Domino’s, allows customers to order and pay for their order through Facebook Messenger.

The thing about chatbots is they allow cohesive, consistent service due to their controlled responses. They are low cost and effective. It will be interesting to see the many changes chatbots will bring to communication within the next few years.

If you would like to learn more, check out these articles:
Chatbot Trends To Look Forward To In 2018
Bots For The Greater Good: 6 Chatbots Making The World A Better Place
The 2018 State Of Chatbots Report

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