Do you remember Clippy? The Microsoft virtual assistant will turn 20 this year, and 2017 could be the year of the chatbot, that can be considered the “grandchildren” of the famous Windows helper.

So, what are exactly these bots? Bots are applications that perform automated tasks, such as a conversation using AI (artificial intelligence). A human user begins to chat and the bot answers, offering information and help. It seems to simply talk with a friendly person, including the benefits of an automated conversation: immediacy, speed, clear content.

During the annual convention the Facebook F8, Zuckerberg announced the launch of a bot platform on Messenger: with its one billion users, this IM app is now really complete and multitasking. Companies have not missed the opportunity (the Bot-oturnity, writes MixPanel) and are already improving their communication plan with virtual assistants, more and more complex. CNN, HP, and also the Italian Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica have also already operating on bot Telegram.

You know you can check your energy consumption using Messenger? Try this beta bot and tell us what you think!

The reasons for the success. It’s not only the immediacy that makes this tool great as well: with two-way communication, the chatbot is a source of valuable information and continuous feedback, essential requirement for a good marketing strategy.

Bots seem to have no defects, but perfection doesn’t exist. Everyday we work hard to make them more and more smart and receptive, and we’ve already reached incredible goals. Chatbot is a tool in constant evolution with great potential. It all started with the sites, then came the app, and it seems that chatbots will replace apps.

Despite the initial difficulties, errors and misunderstanding between user and bot, now the conversations are frictionless and more useful to the user. They are also often friendly and cute characters, particularly appealing for the customers.

Day after day, bots become more human: how will it affect the evolution of the web? Are we facing a new era of automation? We only have to wait the companies next moves.

Originally posted on talking (italian version)
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