Chat Bots Aren’t a Fad. They’re a Revolution.
Chris Messina
1.2K53

More jobs destroyed, replaced by nothing.

First, it’s not going to be a revolution for customers. It isn’t going to change my customer experience much at all, except perhaps I won’t have to wait (but very often, I don’t have to wait today!)

The only way it’d be significantly different if the chatbots were more lenient and gave us out more things — but indeed, I suspect the chatbots will be less lenient and less likely to cut you a break, because they will be programmed to implement policy exactly, so your hope of convincing someone that you are morally right, even though the company’s policy says otherwise, will be zero.

So for customers, it will actually result in a degradation of service (except of course for no waiting time).

The people who will really be experiencing this “revolution” will be the people who currently have customer support jobs — and then will be out of a job.

These aren’t great jobs — but they’re jobs. They allow people to live their lives. If I thought our society was mature and compassionate enough to support these now-redundant workers in some sort of decent life, I’d be all for it — but I don’t see this happening. We didn’t do this with iron workers, auto industry workers, or pretty well anyone else whose jobs vanished, to be replaced by nothing.

So I lose as the customer (except I don’t get put on hold). The worker loses. The winners? Why, they’re the same winners every time, in this shiny but brutal twenty-first century — management and stockholders.

This isn’t any sort of revolution. It is, however, pretty revolting.