Bots, done right, are the cutting-edge form of interactive communications that captivates and engages users. But what kind of potential do they have for sales and marketing reach? Listen in as experts take a frank look at the future of bot technology.
“A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon since the hype started,” says Eugenia Kuyda, CEO of Luka, about the bot-technology craze that’s creating a raft of marketing thinkpieces.
Luka, however, has been ahead of the curve. Since its launch three years ago, it’s been the pioneer in high-end conversational bots powered by sophisticated neural networks — in fact, beating Microsoft’s Tay to the punch.
Its AI-powered messaging service offers a variety of smart bots designed to help users get whatever they desire–and market analysts have latched on to bots’ huge potential. In fact, at F8, David Markus proclaimed that bots were the future.
“He said bots would make you buy so much more, you cannot even imagine,” Kuyda laughs.
In fact, she says, it’s incredibly simple to build a bot that sells shoes. “If you tell me to give you the best shoe-salesperson bot, I’ll build it for you tomorrow and we’ll give you the best result,” she says. “But I don’t think this is the main reason we’re trying to crack conversation bots.”
What they’ve found is that a conversation is not necessarily a way to solve practical needs or optimize time. “The grand purpose behind a conversation,” she says, “is to make you feel connected with someone, to make you feel less lonely, to make you feel needed, to spend time when you’re bored.”
And they’ve seen over and over in their work, the emotional attachments people develop with even their most basic bots.
“We do not try to fool anyone,” she says of their bots, and, yet, she sees over and over, true connections being forged between people and the AI they interact with. “People will still share very deep, confidential information about their lives. It’s crazy.”
“This is the most important thing. There’s no Turing test. No one cares about the Turing test,” she explains. “We build attachment to things that are not necessarily real. We don’t necessarily need great conversation skills or amazing API connections. We don’t need functions to become friends or to start to love something.”
“Obviously, bots will be selling us shoes at some point,” Kuyda continues, “but I think the big problem to solve is, how do you build something that can establish emotional connection with a person, and make the person a little less lonely, a little more valid and needed and liked, less bored and understood better.”
So, in the end, it isn’t sales that are the true future of bot technology.
“Bots can make you feel so much, you cannot even imagine,” Kuyda says. “This is the biggest quest we can be on.”
Don’t miss out!
In addition, you’ll learn how to:
- Recognize bad as well as good bots and their implications for your business
- Understand the difference between chatbots and SMS
- Take advantage of developments in bot technology
- Identify the key players in the bot landscape
- Paul English, CEO, Lola (co-founder, Kayak)
- Eugenia Kuyda, CEO, Luka
- Jon Cifuentes, Analyst, VentureBeat
- Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat