A Conversation on Conversational Interfaces, Conversational Commerce, and Chatbots
Gam Dias, our expert on conversational interfaces, commerce and chatbots, joins us for a wide-ranging conversation covering:
- The story of conversational interfaces could follow the same development adoption cycle of recorded music. Did you know that Leon Scott’s 1857 Phonoautograph, Edison had a new competitor in the form of the Graphophone 1886?
- ELIZA is an early natural language processing computer program created from 1964 to 1966 at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory by Joseph Weizenbaum. Created to demonstrate the superficiality of communication between man and machine,
- Magnetic recording, which is today used for video and audio tape, was first introduced around 1899-1900 by the Danish inventor Valdemar Poulsen. It didn’t actually take that long to develop the technology, the adoption
- Even though these technologies took a while to commercialize, everything moves much faster now. It’s not too early.
Where are we now?
- Just started to experiment.
- Siri was a great start – had to grapple with Semantics – limited set of use cases though and that is the trick
- Launching Tay out into the wild was possibly the best thing that Microsoft could have done.
- We’ve got Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home – both of which have set a very high bar
- In terms of retailers, there are chatbots popping up here and there, it’s still early so these are largely R&D projects
- They are single tasks
What is conversational commerce and why it’s a big deal – right now you own the customer, maybe in the near future not so much
- Owning the customer? Can we own people?
- Maybe think about holding attention
- This breaks the old paradigms of store and web – you can now engage the customer at their convenience
- Old school you had to go to the inventory (store or site)
- The chatbot brings it to you
What kinds of things is conversational commerce good for – what it can and cannot do
- Let’s look at the range of touchpoints that could be brought into play via an Omnichannel experience
- Spectrum at one end call center – other end Webstore
- The length of the spectrum
Where does AI fit into the conversation?