There’s a large push by many companies to develop both bot platforms and the agents and bots that will reside on them. These bots are supposed to act as contacts who can perform special functions when you interact with them in plain text. Facebook Messenger, Slack, Kik, and others are supposedly great platforms for interacting with these. There are dozens of companies now with tools to build these.
But who’s using these bots?
It seems most of the real paid bot implementations are happening as either chat bots for customer service on web sites or as virtual assistants in interactive voice response (IVR) implementations. However, how many people are really using the Dominoes Slack bot for ordering pizza?
Even if the implementation is as an Alexa Skill, there is still a barrier problem. The skill / bot needs to be invoked by the user.
This is the biggest issue with all these bots and agents. We have to add them as friends and contacts and they typically perform a singular function. This is a pain! What we really need is for one AI to communicate with these bots on our behalf.
Example: “Alexa, how much is a flight between New York and Miami next week?” vs “Alexa, ask Expedia how much is a flight between New York and Miami next week?” (just an example — I don’t think Expedia will have a skill anytime soon).
The next breakthrough in bots is a bot to talk to other bots on our behalf.