One of the issues facing chatbot developers, one which is particularly important given how popular some of the existing bots are and the number of bots already on Facebook Messenger, is that their bots will also have to compete directly with Google. This is a two-pronged problem. The first prong is that Google is making its own messaging apps with its own chatbot. The search giant already has a lock on making artificial intelligence work for everyday people, drivers, and smartphone users, so this move makes a lot of sense. The other prong is Google’s claim on simple search. Users are sophisticated enough these days to know that they can search for “movie” to get instant showtimes or search for “fuel prices” to get results without much effort.
A UI expert named Ariel Verber posted something on Medium about this issue recently. His examples are worth reading, especially since he uses some clear side-by-side screenshots that demonstrate what happens when you use a chatbot versus an online search. Can you check the weather with a chatbot by typing phrases? Yes. Can you also type “weather” into Google? Yes. What makes the difference, in the end, is the UI.
Here’s the link to check it out. Post in comments if you agree or disagree that search is a competitor.