What inspired you to work on and explore chatbots?

I would love to learn more about everyone!

Personally I was inspired to learn more about chatbots after noticing the huge shift towards people using messenger apps (like Facebook Messenger) to communicate. It made sense to me that if messaging apps were the #1 way people communicate that every business is going to have to figure out a strategy to engage their customers on the various messaging platforms.

Seems to me that chatbots, or messenger apps, are really the only scalable way to do this.

I’ve been learning as much as possible ever since (and I owe 99% of what I know to the Chatbots Magazine community).

What inspired you to work on and explore chatbots? Was there a specific moment of inspiration you had? What was it?

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I was inspired to learn more and explore chatbots/messaging platforms ever since I read Chris Messina’s articles - Conversational commerce (2015) and 2016 will be the year of conversational commerce (2016). Also, I was using Slack heavily for work and this was around the same time they started to introducing Slack bots and the Slack bot directory.

I read more and more Medium posts around chatbots/messaging and started to hightlight the important insights that stood out to me :

  • “Utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services.” - Chris Messina
  • “Nothing to install, nothing to configure—just flow. Conversational apps are therefore organized around the way I organize my life, rather than the way the app maker might dictate.” - Chris Messina
  • “People don’t need another app, they need a better way to connect with businesses. Build meaningful relationships through messaging.” - Shane Mac

Joining the Chatbots Magazine community and learning from everyone has definitely helped me get to where I’m at now. I just finished building and launching my first chatbot, and can’t wait to get started on my next!

:robot:

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I started exploring Chatbots after in my last job when we lost a very large helpdesk deal to a competitor who bid 20% less then us to get the deal…and we thought we had a very competitive price point after having taken forward calls on pricing based on presentations (and promises) from IPSoft (Amelia)/IBM Watson…

It was like we missed a trick ( a big one) and have since been on a journey to learn more about bots/chatbots.

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I was inspired to work on chatbots because I’m always looking to build solutions to help businesses to better engage their customers. Customer engagement and support is one of those things that have been really difficult to scale. And I feel like chatbots are the best opportunity so far for companies to engage their customers in a very personalized yet very scalable way.

Also, even if I’ve mostly been working with businesses in North America and Europe, I live in a part of the World where mobile and messaging apps are almost the only way most people use the internet. The first online presence of businesses is mostly WhatsApp or Messenger. I’m able to see the big opportunity for a business when they can engage thousands, if not millions, of customers one-on-one.

As @matt said, “every business is going to have to figure out a strategy to engage their customers on the various messaging platforms”, why not be one of those few people helping them figure out the strategy?

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In our coworking office we had a real pain of booking out meeting rooms (tools were too expensive or clunky) and we quickly realised how easy it would be to build a bot to solve this - which we did! We built our MVP and still use this internally to book out meeting rooms. We found that people actually really liked the personality we had created for this bot (Xandra, the room booking bot) and they would always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and refer to the bot as a colleague.

After much research, and reading articles like Chris Messina’s listed above our team fell in love with the idea of messaging platforms and started thinking about how we could leverage this new found skill of developing personalities and designing dialogue for conversational interfaces.

We started exploring opportunities and eventually founded Xandra Labs, our first project being a world first (we think) chatbot for a city, which will launch the end of the month!

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My roots I guess go back to the 90’s when I was building eggdrop bots for IRC channels, I was building bots that delivered music and files mostly with a conversational interface to control them, they always had to be witty and have easter eggs sprinkled in, the personality was usually more important than the functions. Then we grew up and got things like ICQ, AOL, Yahoo Messenger, MSN chat, got busy with life and left the IRC scene. (really dating myself here, haha)

However community and user interaction was big for me still is, that has really driven everything I’ve done to this point. So now I’ve come full circle building chatbots again. But not just chatbots, we are doing things outside the box, for instance we built a bot that controls a IRL video booth, we are working on one that will be delivering invites to a IRL party for WB, the users will have to send selfies from activation stations around NYC to get a ticket.

It is my belief that every TV/Movie/Album will have a chatbot as part of their content plan. I believe this shift will happen in the next 12-18 months. I’m excited to be a part of making that happen!

:slight_smile:

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@Mike I miss the IRC bot days too, the good old days of /ctcp bots for file transfer etc :slight_smile:

For me it started off from looking to build customer service bots for a side hustle webstore I’ve got going and more info than that really gets into personal details etc so I’ll digress. Long story short though, still need to go back to that but have since been working on bigger things

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A bot on your phone should be your contentcomrad your botbuddy your useruniverse. Delivering a solution to how I would like to be adressed is a great journey. In the end who ever we build bots for somewhere atvsometime in that proces we become the target audience. And it is radical. Awesome. And we need - just like Peter Parker said - to be aware that with great power cone great responsibility

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I wanted to explore how technology (mobile, AI, cloud, …) can empower people to change.

enkr8ia was formed to enable people to achieve their personal goals. Our vision is based upon two strongly held beliefs;
(i) Change is possible when it comes from deep within - we simply need support and guidance to overcome the inevitable obstacles, and
(ii) Technology is embedded into our everyday existence. So much so that it have become an extension of what we do. With cognitive computing (AI) our devices can become an extension of who we are.

HABITat is our 1st app (beta) with a bot as a coach for creating awesome habits.

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I recently started working as a freelance researcher, and my boss introduce chatbots to me. I didn’t know that chatbots has grown like these after couple of years, and since I’m very interested with robotics ( i took computer engineering here at the philippines, though I wasn’t able to finish it yet ) , I thought that I don’t have to develop a hardware for a robot. as long as I can communicate with it :slight_smile:

I’ve always been interested in bots since the early days of the internet. As a kid I built what I titled the “candy bar bot net” which did extremely harmless things like manage my IRC channel and play games. They were all named after candy bars. But it was still fun. Fast forward 20 years and it’s becoming something that truly can help people. I was inspired to build our bot by a constant problem I see amongst the creative community. It’s already hard enough as a content creator to generate support for their work. And it dawned on me one day that it could be easier when I kept reading on reddit, imgur, comments of great art work, “Where can I buy this?” and I thought… Why not right here… you can freaking buy it right here and I know how… So that’s what we’re working on.

Currently companies like patreon are doing good things, but you gotta get that person to go away from your content, to another website to support you. That to me seem like the opposite of what a content creator would want to do. Our system allows fans to continue enjoying the content while being able to interact and support the creator.

Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick

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Back in 1997 I started studying computational linguistics - learning how language works and how you can teach computers how to deal with language. Parse it, generate it, speak it. Ever since I’ve been waiting to see chatbots become mainstream. Er voila! Enter 2016! :slight_smile:

I was inspired by the how the way people are using messaging apps (and the time they spend there) and also because is a somewhat new kind of area with so many new things to explore in how users interact with brands and products/services.