Chatbots are a novelty

Posted on April 20, 2016 in opinion, technology

The accomplishments we achieve with genuine human interaction and communication is nothing short of amazing. A school can conduct fire safety drills by communicating with the local fire department, software can improve with customer feedback, and various governments can work out complicated trade agreements between defined borders and areas. Our world revolves around people being able to communicate with other people.

So why is it now we're so fascinated by chatbots? The technology is hardly new (although the concepts that power these bots have advanced) and these bots for the most part are very dumb in their nature. Ask a bot to schedule a roadmap for your project and you'll most likely get your current calendar or map directions to place called "project". That's because chatbots are point and action based. You ask a bot some question, you get some answer. Bots are incapable of genuine human interaction which poses a big problem for anyone looking to replace a secretary with a scheduling bot. Facebook's M project is promising, but at the end of the day we're still relying on humans to provide a genuine social experience.

I know one day we'll be able to develop smarter bots, but until then I'll keep scheduling my own meetings and looking up the weather by looking up.

Thomas Lackemann :)


Tom is the founder of Astral TableTop. He's a homebrewer, hiker, and has an about page. Follow @tlackemann on Twitter for more discussions like this.