Reasons why chatbots suck !
Conversational apps are clearly the next big thing, forget about VR and Pokemon Go kids! If you see Microsoft, Google, and Facebook investing some really big money on it, not just because it’s serious but it’s going to take over the consumer computing apps too and will be an intricate part of the future of our online interactions.
From a developer perspective
Now, big tech companies and firms are busy building platforms, APIs, tools, standards for 99 product… Messenger, Slack, Skype, Kik, Telegram, etc… but no one is giving a damn f** about developers, building kind of conversational agents is already a pain in the ass, because you should care more about “what to say”, “what to not say”, “how to say it” (you may need some Psycholinguistics skills) and you know developers are not really into this stuff, they are good at code and that’s it, so often they should ask for a hint from the coolest guy in the company who is really good at conversing.
Once your scenario and texts are ready, you have to deal with which platform you will be using for Natural Language Processing, and choose the platform you will developing for, because a webhook currently built for a specific platform, cannot be working on another one. For example : a Messenger bot using Facebook API and payloads won’t work on Slack who is using different payloads and structure.
As a result, if you want to explore or process your bot’s data, you will be always facing the same monster “Platform exclusive”. Let’s say for example you want to track your sales or conversations with your customers on Messenger and WeChat, the first thing you will do is to design a dashboard for analytics and insights (take note that the few beta solutions that exist in the market right now are “platform exclusive” too), so you should develop two parts to do the same stupid thing, and If you want to add another platform, bring back the code, and start over again… see? pain ? isn’t it ?
From a user perspective
let’s say you want to build a great Bot on “Messenger”, you should spend more resources and time on building the same great bot in the next big messaging platform “WeChat”, and I believe that it is highly affecting a massive chunk of the audience, the user experience sometimes will be confusing, or some people wouldn’t use Messenger to interact with brands or businesses, but they could use “Line App” that provides more anonymity or telegram that cares more about security.
Platform exclusive technologies shouldn’t exist anymore, we have to build a big community around the bot and conversational industry, to create something “universal”, it could be a platform, or a standard with very sharp technical specifications, and for sure “Open” to everyone.