Do all chatbots need to have AI? I think the perspective about what a bot is supposed to be has been a bit distorted by what grabs better media headlines (Artificial Intelligence).
While people are struggling to make a bot that passes the touring test, I’m more interested in bots for the following reasons.
- Frictionless Discovery. More than half of US smartphone users download
0apps per month . It takes a lot of convincing for someone to download your app, register a new account with an email, and learn the interface. Instead, just chat to a bot instantly in the application you and your friends are already using (Kik, Facebook, Telegram, Slack).
- Ease of development. With the Kik or Facebook API’s, it is trivial to create a chatbot in an ecosystem exposed to millions of users; all with very little resources. I’m not a developer, but I was able to build a bot with Python that’s reached nearly 2 million users so far. 
AI will be great eventually, but until then we could solve a lot of problems from simple, easy to develop, low friction interfaces within our favourite messengers.
@uber: pick me up
@weather: whats the weather tomorrow?