I love trying out new things and as part of research for a project I am working on, I was testing chatbots. I came across Bottr.me and have been answering questions on the bottr.me back-end to enable the bot to speak on my behalf on Twitter. I had only just started using it and posted a message to ask bot any questions. Sure enough someone jumped on the change to tweet chat with my new bot and immediately bot got baffled by questions he didn’t know.
The fun cute side then was, that he triggered emails to me to answer the questions in real time. I thought that was useful. I also found it quite good fun to see how technology could represent me when I am busy. I like developments like these and feel they will become part of a lot of our tools.
Imagine getting stuck in a learning lesson and just letting the bot know that you don’t understand, he can then guide you back on track. Tutorbots are in creation and some are on trial in third level education, so it will be interesting to find out how they are received. I personally think that if a machine is faster and more efficient at doing something, we should maximise its capability. I also see in the short term that we will need to nurture them until machine learning steps become better.
From a gamification perspective the use of bots can add narrative into your designs and give an application a more supportive feel or even a business process for that matter. Asking basic questions may not be something you would do in public to a person, but privately from a bot may be much more discrete. I read recently that in knowledge intensive sectors like for example health care, the use of bots to have quick checklist or updates on best practise are helping health professionals make less mistakes. I can see how that is a seriously wise way to use chat bots.
What use do you see for chatbots?