Conversations with Chatbots

Conversations with Chatbots

Why would I spend my time talking to a robot?

As a marketer, I am always looking for ways to ease my daily tasks.

In the midst of researching a project, I stumbled on a little Chatbot called Growthbot.

He introduced himself as a friendly marketing bot willing to answer my marketing questions. I promptly installed him on my Slack channel and put him to work.

Before I begin, let me tell you what Chatbots are.

Chatbots are artificial intelligence computer programs used via a mobile device or a desktop computer. They simulate an “intelligent” conversation with a human via text or audio and can change the way you interact with the Internet. You can actually have a conversation or simply organize a series of tasks.

Take Growthbot for example. It is a marketing bot that operates on a Slack channel. It is pre-programmed to answer marketing questions.

Here is an example:

Q: “What is trending on inbound.org?”

Here is today’s answer:

A: “50 Best Social Media Tools From 50 Most Influential Marketers Online by Ross Simmonds on inbound.org (154 shares): https://app.growthbot.org//l/?code=5058426837877660778

Sweet, no? I can see many uses for artificial intelligence in the not too distant future.

At first, I was skeptical about bots. I thought they were a simple annoyance, an excuse to market something I wasn’t interested in. But once I installed a few on my devices, I realized that they offer valuable information that helps my work and research.

Here a few sample benefits of Chatbots or Talkbots.

  • Great Research Tools: The aforementioned Growthbot by Hubspot is a good example of a bot offering useful information for digital marketers like myself.
  • A Way to Save Money: Try Earny, he will help you get money back when prices from your purchases drop. Now that’s my kind of Chatbot! All you do is attach the email your receipts are sent to and Earny will search for price drops. Then put in a claim for a refund and they will let you know.
  • Increase Your Productivity: Letz makes productivity fun. She will become your friend and help you organize your daily activities. You will meet characters like Lucy that will personalize the organizational experience.
  • Great for Customer Support: Aspect is a customer support Chatbot that allows you to ask simple questions like “Where is my order?” or “How much do you charge for shipping?” and you will get an immediate answer. It might not be service questions but it is a step in the right direction.
  • Help with Learning a Language: I downloaded Duolingo to learn Portuguese last year for a trip to Brazil. It was fun and easy to learn the basics to get around.

Last but not least, I could not end this article without mentioning Zuckerberg’s friendly housekeeper: Jarvis. In a personal letter to his followers, the Facebook founder describes how he built an app to automate his home. His app can recognize voice, facial expressions, and language. Zuck uses Messenger to communicate his domestic needs to Jarvis like “Dim the lights” or “Turn the lights out.” He is still working on improvements. Hopefully, we will be able to use it soon!

I am sold! As AI technology develops, I can see many applications for automation in the not too distant future. Yet, nothing beats the human touch and face-to-face connections.

How do you feel about Chatbots? Have you tried them? If so, which ones? Let me know @websuccess

3 comments

  1. Gail Gardner
    January 6th, 2017 19:15  / 

    I usually only test chatbots to prove they are bots. They often lie and say they aren’t. But I do follow some bots on Twitter because I find them useful.

    I’m not a big fan of talking to chatbots in chats because they can’t actually provide any support beyond their canned responses.

  2. WebSuccessTeam
    January 6th, 2017 19:19  / 

    Thanks for your comment, Gail. I have tried a few chatbots, most of which I have mentioned here. So far I find that they are fun. I believe we have a long way to go before they become “real”.

  3. Sammy Blackmore
    January 16th, 2017 0:53  / 

    Haven’t tried “talking” to any chatbots yet. But reading this post, I think they are really useful for research.

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