July 20, 2016
Facebook’s F8 conference brought chatbots into vogue, but chatbots are not actually new. Chatbots have existed since the first days of interactive computing in the mid-1960s. As the NY Times suggests, Joseph Weizenbaum, an MIT computer scientist, wrote a program called ELIZA that fascinated an earlier generation of college students and since then, chatbots have been used as a measure of computer intelligence.
Decades after ELIZA, technology has evolved, and chatbots now see a ‘revival’ in a commercialized form with the aim to improve customer experiences and make shopping easier and better.
According to Chatbots.org, a chatbot is an artificial person, animal or other creature which holds conversations with humans. This could be a text based (typed) conversation, a spoken conversation or even a non-verbal conversation. Chatbots can run on local computers and phones, though most of the time it is accessed through the internet.
Chatbots are building a foundation for a new type of commerce – chat commerce. Chat commerce is developed with the intention of remaining relevant as traditional ways of engagement become obsolete and ineffective. As it became clear that customer expectations require real-time assistant with highly relevant and customized offerings, AI-powered chatbots appeared to be a tool that could deliver the results in a seamless manner.
Chat commerce provides the ability to engag ...