Chat Bot Growth Continues, Despite Setbacks
News reports recently indicated that Facebook might be “scaling back its chat bot efforts on Messenger after the programs failed to fulfill 70% of users’ requests,” according to the Motley Fool. The post adds that “The Information reports that those requests couldn’t be handled without human agents, and bots built by outside developers ‘had issues’ because the ‘technology to understand human requests wasn’t developed enough.’”
However,the data indicates that there’s plenty of growth in chat bots.
Investopedia reports: “According to Citigroup, the chat bot economy saw 170% growth between the third and sixth months following the launch of Facebook Messenger. There were more developers working on chat bots during the sixth month after launch than there were working on apps 14 months after the launch of Messenger, Citigroup found.”
So where might this growth occur?
One area is the financial sector. Investopedia adds: “While all sorts of companies and industries are getting into the chat bot game, it remains to be seen if this burgeoning technology will take off. In the financial industry, with a move to more automated investing’s via robo-advisers, chat bots are playing an increasing role.”
For example, Bank of America recently released “an artificially intelligent bot to help customers make smarter decisions,” according to CNBC.
The post continues: “The new digital assistant ‘Erica’ — a play on the bank’s name — will be available inside the bank’s mobile app staring next year. Customers can chat with Erica via voice or text message.”
Other interesting types of chat bots are emerging outside of finance.
For example, BBC Earth America has released a chat bot that creates customized animal videos.
Reports The Drum: “Based on the results of a recent study by BBC Earth and Berkeley University, that reveal that watching nature documentaries can trigger happiness, BBC Earth launched the Real Happiness project. The idea is to bring joy to as many people as possible by connecting them to the natural world. As part of the project, BBC released the ‘Happybot’ chat bot on Facebook Messenger on March 8th.”
“During the five-minute chat conversation with the ‘Happy bot’, users have to indicate their location and current state of happiness with the help of emojis. Users then have to answer three questions related to their personal preferences concerning animals, activities and mood.”
Further, BBC News reports on a 14 year old who made “the best Facebook Messenger chat bot.” It’s called “Christopher Bot, a chat bot that helps students keep track of homework they’ve been given over the course of a week.”
The rise of chat bots seems to continue, despite technical challenges.