The future of ChatBots

With all the recent hype about chatbots, the latest versions have left us wildly underwhelmed. Truthfully, they were total flops.

Take Microsoft’s AI chatbot for example. Recently, Microsoft unveiled “Tay,” a Twitter bot the company described as an experiment in conversational understanding. However, Twitter corrupted innocent Tay and transformed her into a racist, genocidal, maniac and the bot was shut down in less than a day.

Facebook chatbots have also failed to live up to expectations. With the limited interaction chatbots have to offer, sweeping comments like “chatbots are the next mobile apps” and “post-app internet” seem too good to be true. As The Guardian puts it, chatbots are “glorified search boxes.”

In all fairness, we are in an early-adopter phase. We can’t expect much while developers work tirelessly to fix the kinks and quirks that plague chatbots. While the technology is new, and has a long way to go, we can’t dismiss chatbots as simply a fad that will eventually fade away. Chatbots are just getting started and the unending circulation of hype is enough to tell us they aren’t going anywhere.

To prove our point, we have compiled a list detailing what could be possible as new innovations enter the field. Facebook recently launched its own batch of chatbots that cover a variety of things from news and weather to shopping categories. In reality, chatbots can be and do limitless things so our list of possibilities has only scratched the surface.

Your Personal Stylist

Hate wondering what clothes actually work best for your body shape? Imagine entering your measurements and a personal stylist bot tells you exactly what to wear and what not to wear. Then you enter your skin tone and skin type and a bot tells you what foundation is best for you and where you can buy it — at the nearest Sephora for example. Sephora had developed its own chatbot on the messaging app Kik that can guide customers through their vast and perplexing selection of products from makeup brushes to skincare products.

Your Sports Bro

Needed some consoling while Kobe played his last game? Imagine a sports bot that’s there for you when your favourite team loses — a sports bot that won’t judge you while you drown your sorrows in beer and Cheetos. A sports bot can tell you the latest score, keep you updated on international sports, supply you with trending memes and vines. Your Sports bot will be your biggest fan.

Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend

Perpetually single? Crying yourself to sleep at night? Searched online for body pillows shaped like Channing Tatum? Stop it! A virtual boyfriend or girlfriend chatbot is coming to save you from your loneliness. Taking some inspiration from the movie “Her” minus Scarlett Johansson, this bot could pay you compliments, send “I miss you” texts and be there to talk you through the bad days.

Practically a digital human being, this bot could get jealous when you go on an actual date and console you in the midst of heartbreak. Though, when you find someone for real, get your break up speech ready.

Your Professor

You guessed it. This bot has all the answers — if only phones were allowed during exams. From the Pythagoras Theorem to the migratory patterns of penguins, this bot could answer all of your questions in the blink of an eye and make you the next trivia king. A mentor to all who seek knowledge, you actually can be smarter than a fifth grader and even gain useful information like whether to develop your next mobile app on the iOS development platform or on Android.

Your Family Physician

So you typed your symptoms into the WebMD search engine and came up with brain cancer. Fear not, the family physician chatbot is here to help. Time-saving, money-saving and possibly dangerous, the family physician chatbot could give medical advice, recommend a course of treatment or direct you to the nearest hospital/emergency room (probably for the best).

However, medical professionals worldwide would contribute to this bot’s vast knowledge so you can message doctors with ease about anything from the common cold to that WebMD diagnosis you’re so worried about.

Your Financial Advisor

Money have you up in arms? Living paycheck to paycheck? Want to know your balance at all times without downloading an app or going to the bank? A finance bot could do this and so much more. This chatbot could be your personal financial guide giving you advice on anything from investing your money in the housing market to buying a new car.

This tool could be a life-saver and the first step to organising your life. A finance bot could also turn complex finance terminology — the kind that makes most people suicidal — into laymen’s terms, saving you time and a headache. Forget the relationship bot, this chatbot will be your new girlfriend/boyfriend.

Where are the chatbots? I need one now!

As mentioned before, the technology has a long way to go but the possibilities are endless. Before you know it, a reputable doctor or your soul mate will be just a few messages away.

Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is up to your own interpretation. Though, we guarantee an interesting ride.

Simarjeet Singh, Marketing Manager at Miraclegroup.com