Like a keyboard shortcut is useful to the people who bother to figure out which keys they need to press.
Although it’s arguably also a bit weird to start chatting with a robot in the middle of talking to an/other human being/s.
A new wave of technology is preparing to crash down upon the unsuspecting consumer.
Chatbots are surging towards our conversations at breakneck speed!
There’s another risk too; that the companies putting micro search engines inside chatbot interfaces will be far too tempted to lard them with extraneous nonsense, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the core search in the process. But a search alternative is not really how chatbots are being billed. Data retrieval machines that know what we like better than we do. Robots you’ll want to chat to in the same way you talk to your friends. Thing is, humans want meaningful connections with other humans.
Perhaps it’s just overly effusive marketing at this nascent stage of the latest chatbot wave but we’re being told to expect sassy and useful conversationalists. From machines our chief desire is utility — whether to link us to the data we need or the people we desire.
This new brainy breed of algorithms will, we’re told, be leveraging the power of advanced AI to engage and delight humans with unprecedented conversational smarts. They’ll want to chat with bots like they chat with their buddies, says Mark Zuckerberg. And those chatbots that impress will not really be doing much chatting.I for one am not holding my breath to better hear the wit of these robot overlords.Nor does it sound like people are falling over themselves to spend lots of time conversing with robots.Or else will turn out to be Mechanical Turks — ie they will have actual people intelligently pulling the strings behind the scenes.Witness, for instance, Facebook employing humans as the connective tissue behind its ‘virtual’ assistant M — to plug what are evidently still very sizable gaps in its algorithmic intelligence.If a user can book a restaurant in the same messaging thread where they are discussing going out for dinner with their friends then, in theory, there’s no need for the humans to break off their conversation to go figure the organizational stuff out.Although you can’t expect to keep people locked inside your walled garden forever or things start to get pretty dystopic. This notion meshes well with Facebook’s needs to encourage people to share more personal stuff, for example, given that rates of personal sharing are in apparent decline.There is also an educational challenge worth noting here, given that people won’t necessarily know how to command search in this more chatty guise.So even here, it’s not necessarily plain sailing for these info-retrieval ‘chatbots’.And then there are basic algorithms doing what algorithms do best (and do better than humans): which is to say sifting large volumes of data and quickly retrieving specific results. These algorithms are of course going to continue to be useful.And if you want to describe a search box that can be addressed inline within a messaging thread as a ‘chatbot’ then sure, such ‘chatbots’ may well thrive — although really it’s just another way to perform a search.