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Chatbots FTW?

Update: Cisco acquired MindMeld for $125M, and their site is gone.

Is it realistic to make chatbots for popular chat services? Very much so. The state of the industry is such that best case you can set up chatbots without writing a line of code.

Here are a few services of note:

Especially has gone the extra mile to provide an end-to-end solution.

Chatbots face a few challenges right now. I decidedly don’t express my opinions, but the questions might give it away a bit.

  • Where will they provide any real bottom line value to companies? Are other values relevant enough?
  • Will anyone use them beyond the initial novelty/curiosity stage?
  • What tolerance do chatbots have for misspellings and abbreviations? People can’t spell.
  • Will the rather cumbersome act of asking a chatbot about things be preferred to clicking on exactly the thing you want on a web page, among maybe 100s of items?
  • Are they “intelligent” enough for a dialogue to seem natural and coherent when ordering, asking etc?