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Isn't it important for botmakers to know basics of behavioral science theory?

(seema.nair) #1

Isn’t it important for botmakers to know basics of behavioral science theory?
I’ve seen tech guys jump on creating bots because its the Hot stuff right now, but their bots feel so much like silly computer dialog boxes from the past.

(Alyssa Ong) #2

I think knowing behavioural science theory would give botmakers an advantage in creating a really good user experience. Similar to apps in a way - knowing user behaviour can help create great UX. Although I do feel it’s much harder to predict user behaviour for bots compared to apps, unless you have a ‘keyword’ menu of sorts for your bot.

If a bot fulfils a key need even without having good UX though, it still can be successful but I guess its chances are slimmer.

(benjamin) #3

Hi @seema.nair,

i think it can be important.
Do you have any ressource to learn basics of behavorial science theory that you would recommend?

Thanks a lot in advance.


(arghyabhatta) #4

It would be and even more so as technology matures (AI/NLP) till such time the current wave of bots can be seen as laying the foundation

(pmkpinto) #5

I would love to have some interesting sources about behavorial science theory

(seema.nair) #6

I don’t really know of specific sources for behavioural science theory but I believe it would help to have people from human psychology be part of the team building bots.
The interaction experience is very critical and complex to design for a conversational mode unlike the traditional UI models where the UI elements or aesthetics of the interface works as shock absorbers or you can define standards and patterns for UI. NLP and sentiment analysis is a big component in a conversational experience, human beings are still not perfect in their human form, forget the bots.

(Jeff Aydelotte) #7

One of the most interesting things that I have heard from our writers at work is how much they value experience in improv. Their experience as actors and screenwriters in the past helps them to handle unexpected input and keep the conversation moving.

I think that we should seek out more people with training in acting and improv as many of those skills directly apply to writing engaging dialog for a bot.

(Nas) #8

Yes, applying “behavioral” in bots is crucial. After getting your bot to work (technically), it’s one of the main things to tackle to provide longer term success of your bot.

For anyone who wants to start getting an overview of what the behavioral sciences offer, I can recommend to start with some classics. Read work from Daniel Kahneman (nobel prize winner), Amon Tversky, Sinan Aral, Dan Ariely, Richard Thaler, Nir Eyal, Uri Gneezy, Jonah Berger and last but not least: Robert Cialdini. All made pretty accessible work (books, articles) and from all there’s enough material on YouTube giving summaries of their work and principles.

If you want to start quickly, and want to focus on the ‘commercial persuasiveness of your bot’, I recommend focusing on Cialdini, Aral and Eyal first. Their work is easiest to apply to bot personality and seduction.

If you are more focused on healthcare or personal relationships, start with Thaler, Kahneman and Gneezy.

Behavioral Psychology and Behavioral Economics (see how I write them with capitals!) are sciences in itself, so to apply them in a bot appropriately will take you more than ‘a day of reading’. Nevertheless, any knowledge you gain about this will most likely improve the impact of your bot, since there’s also not so much that you can do terribly wrong. Worst thing that can happen is that your bot will turn out to be … well, like an asshole or annoying personality, which IMHO is always a lot better than a cold machine like word processor with 1 word answers or answering ‘Can you repeat that please’ all the time. People actually sometimes like to communicate with ‘edgy’ bots more than with predictable ‘dictionaries’.

Check out some of these links for overviews:

Or - when you check the basic boxes - you can connect with me to take things to the next level. :wink:

(Ron Levinson) #9

I believe the best bots in the future will use conversation designers from the areas of psychology, literature, philosophy and communication. Therefore, yes, there is an importance I think to know the at least the basics of behavioral science