The best chatbot companies recognize the current limits of general AI and don't bother.Instead, like Dexter, they might use a bot to take the heavy lifting of information gathering/survey data, and then hand off this data to a live person to follow up (fully informed by that early data collection).Facebook has already begun adding chatbot-esque features into the DNA of Messenger through its “M” AI assistant, but the company wants to build out the platform to enable automated interactions between users and businesses as it looks to make Pages the more default online homes of brands and Messenger the way you communicate with them.With the Discover platform launching, there’s surely going to be a lot more attention on chatbots; we’ll see whether developers give the platform another whirl or if the trend dies out.While such services get better all the time, they still fail to understand language that is trivial for humans to grok.
Indeed, as Victor Luckerson accurately sneers, "[M]any of them are just clunky repackagings of mobile web pages." With precious little AI powering today's chatbots, you can be forgiven for thinking chatbots are "overhyped and unimpressive," as one developer survey revealed. According to an interview with Begin founder and CEO Brian Leroux, "Chatbot hype clearly outstripped the abilities of early bots, but now we're in a quiet productivity period." After talking with a wide array of chatbot companies, it's clear that chatbots can deliver tangible value now, with the promise of much more to come. Despite the overexcitement around chatbots after Facebook's 2016 developer conference, today's best chatbot companies have settled down, focusing on attainable use cases. What may be a dirty word in cloud computing fits perfectly with chatbots, but in this case the "hybrid" refers to a blend of human and machine intelligence.
Facebook isn’t done with chatbots quite yet; today, the company is launching Discover, a hub inside Messenger for discovering new and interesting chatbots to message with.
The section Facebook announced at F8 is going live for users stateside, and the company is billing it as an opportunity for people to interact with businesses and brands in more useful ways.
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