Though 2017 was welcomed as a year of chatbots it did not show exactly that much success. And what about this year, what are the forecasts for 2018?
Amazon and Google activity on the market of Voice assistants in 2017 shows that the trend of speaking to the machines is developing. Also, smaller companies build specialized voice bots for businesses.
Right now people more often talk to their smart home devices than to the smartphones. Voice bots are great for simple requests like “Play a song” or “Set a timer” but they get confused when they get complex tasks. However, their skills constantly improve. Also, one of the arguments for voicebots is that it is more natural for a human to speak than to text, so such interfaces must get popular.
All in all, demand for chatbots with voice UI is expected in 2018.
Getting friends with blockchain
Blockchain can enhance the security of interaction between chatbots and customers.
Although chatbots are not a new, unknown technology anymore, many people are (justly) suspicious about the security of the information they pass and possible transactions though chatbots. Blockchain can ensure the security and make bots trustworthy. It is proposed to use it to create a system of trust rating for bots basing on successful transactions. The first spheres to benefit from the cooperation of chatbots and blockchain technology are health, insurance, warranty service.
Steady progress in AI development
We promise no miracles. But as in past few years, we will observe the progress on the development of effective training and data processing algorithms. Innovative hardware enables faster learning and advanced data collection.
As a result, we can expect chatbots to understand the natural language better and generate ever more relevant responses to requests of users.
AI progress will influence healthcare and financial bots and virtual shop-assistants, and enhance the personalization of services provided by chatbots.
More chatbots on websites
Obvious that Facebook Messenger’s Customer Chat is one of the factors that will contribute to the trend. Now, a company can easily add a chatbot to its website using this plugin.
Some experts even predict the popularity of the websites with a conversational interface where a website would be nothing but a landing for a chatbot. It should serve for best personalization of user experience. It turns a website visit to an interaction and users not only view information but provide data about themselves: their preferences and demographics.
Bots interacting with other bots
Maybe that’s a nightmare for Facebook. But as all that bots have for now is narrow AI which allows performing separate tasks, they will cooperate to get things done.
Say, a personal assistant bot will get a meeting room booked or a pizza delivered by other specialized bots.
These are the main trends for today. Also, it is obvious that chatbots will continue to outpace apps and augment but not replace human agents. Considering another popular thing, augmented and virtual reality, the chatbots will doubtless integrate with this technology too, but it is unlikely to happen in 2018.