Chatbots: Trends to Look Forward to in 2018 and Beyond
In the post-app era, chatbots will become the face of artificial intelligence and transform the way apps are built.
In its ‘Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond’ report, Gartner mentions that more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on chatbot and bots creation than traditional mobile app development by 2021. This clearly indicates that chatbots will change the way organizations do their business and serve customers.
Let’s take a look at trends that will shape up chatbots development and deployment in the coming years.
Chatbots Will Gradually Dethrone Mobile Apps
The novelty of mobile apps is wearing off, its growth has become stagnant and downloads have reached their plateau. While mobile apps will not become completely obsolete, it would be the case of the survival of the best. The Gartner report has predicted that in the post-app era, chatbots will become the face of artificial intelligence and transform the way apps are built.
In fact, bots will be in and the individual will be out. Traditional apps which a mobile user downloads from an app store will become one of many options for customers. Enterprises are designing more bots than the apps.
Chatbots Will Integrate Messaging Apps
The popularity of messaging apps such as Whatsapp, WeChat, Google Duo, QQ Mobile, FB Messenger, Skype, Kik and Snapchat continues to skyrocket owing to their ease of communication and user-friendly interface. They are considered the next big thing in the social media.
Statistics show that Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger alone have more than 1 billion users per month! Facebook Messenger already has around 100,000 chat-bots with 20 million businesses actively responding to the messages. So, organizations will be looking at leveraging message app platforms to build and integrate chat-bots to enhance brand visibility and gain more traction with the target users.
Chatbots with Conversational Interfaces Will Become Popular
Chatbots as conversational interfaces is the most touted trend of the future and they will become more valuable to the organizations to serve the customers. Man is a social animal and always looking for a human touch in the conversations. Automated and static conversations leave them unconnected. Moreover, customers want a quick resolution to their concerns.
A study shows that 64% of customers and 80% of business buyers expect real-time responses and interactions from the organizations. Chatbots are a perfect solution to provide human-like conversation, increase user attention, deliver quick responses and engage customers more deeply than ever.
Take the example of Loebner Prize winner ‘Mitsuku’ which is the most human-like chatbot developed so far. It does not perform a specific task like other chat-bots. Instead, it allows users to chat about anything based on your mood and language.
Realizing the potential of chat-bots and conversational interfaces, Facebook has already launched an open-source research platform called ParlAI for chatbot developers. This platform will enable the developers to develop more conversational and personalized chatbots.
Support Framework for Chatbots Will Increase
Given their unprecedented growth, major platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Microsoft, Slack, Kik, Telgram, Skype and a few others are building support framework for chatbots.
They are making advanced tools, huge amount of research data and training available to the developers to host chat-bots on their platforms. Such kind of IT infrastructure and architecture will also reduce the development cost of chatbots significantly.
Chatbots are the future of business intelligence, customer service and marketing. They will assist businesses and customers just the way a human assistant would. With more technological advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, augmented reality and virtual reality, chatbots will become more human-like and expedite real-time communication in the future.
Soon, chatbots will evolve into an integral tool for the users in their daily lives.