Are you embarrassed by current ChatBots crudeness?

Despite a whole lotta hype and 10,000’s of new ChatBots - most of today’s ChatBots are nothing more than crude experiments. Does this reflect on the long term viability of ChatBots or is it simply a byproduct of wild-eyed enthusiasm and interest in the area?

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I have yet to run into a chatbot that blows me away. They are all simple, crude, or in the worst case, overcomplicated and confusing.

It’s going to take a while for people to figure out how to make chatbots that are actually easy to use and useful. And that makes sense. The early iPhone apps were horrible too.

I believe people are going to figure out how to make great chatbots that the world will fall in love with. With 3B+ people on messaging platforms, there is a lot of motivation for companies to figure out how to do it.


I agree, though I should say that when I first discovered EstherBot and then dived into MessinaBot - I was truly excited!

But that was because I’ve known Chris a long time and that bot setup ALL sorts of expectations in my head! As I roamed around, tried to find functionality and tried to make an appointment - reality set in.

Ah… This is the demo to raise money - which she did! :champagne:

I still think Esther Crawford has more ambitious plans for OlaBot besides being “just” a resume bot service - but we shall see!

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I would not like to term the experience as anything that evokes embarrassment. The whole euphoria over ChatBots is very very new and before our AI/NLP gets better at understanding human expression and sentiment, it is us humans, who have to rediscover the art of ‘conversation’, from the point of view of a machine talking to a human. It is only going to get better with experience. Any new product or a marked paradigm shift in the use of technology is dotted by early stage failures and learning outcomes.

We’re at a stage where we’re learning from early experiments and failures. So in many ways, what we term as crude failures today will result in a really amazing chatbot experience tomorrow.

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We are in an exploratory stage. Platforms, features, and tools are in constant limbo. The crudeness/elegance of bots is a reflection of this. As our understanding of how users communicate improves, and the tools to support bot development become more sophisticated, I think we’ll see better, more effective bots appear.


OK I buy that.

We are indeed learning from early experiments.

But dude - out here in SF - ChatBots are the new girl in town. The buzzword du jour. The cat’s meow. The latest greatest fastest way to fame and riches.

That’s hwat happens when money comes first.

You and I may understand that early experiments suck - but 30,000+ ChatBots on Facebook say one thing to Silicon Valley.

There’s GOLD in them thar hills!

Everybody start building ChatBots!


yeah but they also reflect the crudeness of our tools currently. I missed the app gold rush but I have to wonder what the early days were like as well.

Im predicting years 2-3 for awesomeness

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That happened when mobile apps were a hot thing. People get excited and excited people excite even more excited and rather impatient and perhaps naive investors. So yes money does fool people into thinking there’s gold out there.

All in all, out of these 30K+, few will last and those will become pioneers and ‘Yoda’ for the rest of us. But i do agree, too much excitement at the valley is not necessarily a good thing. Let’s see how this fans out. Exciting stuff :smiley:

Totally agreed! :slight_smile:

Isn’t this a pretty standard evolution process for any new paradigm? I remember the time when client-server applications took off in the nineties then Java took the world by storm and so on so forth. Consistently, the early apps were sorta u can call them crude BUT people saw significant value in terms of $ savings and $ generation opportunities AND continued to keep building them by learning from the early builders.

I see exactly the same thing happening with Bots. There is very little user data available today. Outside the Silicon Valley, NYC, and few hi-tech hubs hardly anyone has heard of Bots or even considering dabbling in Bots. It is a tough sell at this time. Everyone has seen the boon and bane of apps AND now people are ready for something even simpler and easier which happens to be Bots.

The only thing that matters at this time is the momentum in the early adoption phase and if that continues then it is just matter of time when you will see BotMaps inside RoadMaps and we will be in serious business then :smile:

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As a none Silicon Valley, NYC or hi-tech hub resident I can say that there is wider real-world demand and a real desire to change how consumers interact with brands.

We’re are looking at bots to both ease customer service challenges but also provide a genuinely new way to interact. I think as people get used to things like Siri (now on the Mac) and with all the press around Alexa, the consumer demand will be rising in the next 12 months. I also think that its correct that people will begin to understand how to interact with them - have to learn the vocabulary to an extent.

It’ll be those little adjustments we make in interaction, the increasing sophistication of the bots and the wider exposure to chat/voice interfaces for consumers that will create the perfect storm.

I am neither embarrassed, nor surprised. Any new technology is embraced by engineers first, by designers second. Once we can attract enough UX/UI Design talent to the field of CUI (Conversational UI), we will see better bots. Bots are not so much a technology problem as they are a design problem.

Or as Alan Cooper said it:

“There’s a fundamental problem with how the software business does things. We’re asking people who are masters of hard-edged technology to design the soft, human side of software as well. As a result, they make products that are really cool - if you happen to be a software engineer.”

I agree on the demand side. We are seeing tremendous interest from enterprises all over the world to have bots help with customer service.

Interesting point about us and the bots meeting somewhere in the middle re “interaction language”…

I’m jealous- I’m all the way in Austin, which is still very tech centric, but most people give me the side-eye when I start going off on my bot crazy talk!