Chris Messina
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Chris Messina

The future of messaging bots and chat for business

Post-webinar thoughts and answers to attendee questions

  • About me (i.e. to establish some basic credibility)
  • A bit of a recap on 2016 to discuss the big picture
  • A brief history explaining how computing has become simpler and more casual over time
  • Some terms to help us get on the same page (I updated these terms in the above slides after some feedback)
  • Some challenges and some benefits of conversational UIs
  • An overview of the platforms and the anatomy of a bot (borrowed from Andy Mauro)
  • A sample of bots (primarily on Messenger) from across the landscape
  • Additional resources (notably my Refind links and #ConvComm collection on Product Hunt)

Q: Isn’t chatbot just another variation of IVR (either DTMF or speech recognition based)?

Q: I’m looking forward to seeing Whatsapp incorporate bots. It will be a game changer, as even my parents use Whatsapp now. What do you think?

Q: Could we teach machines programming languages and ask them to create software based on our voice and visual inputs and design elements at some point in the future?

Q: If a bot fails to understand the conversation, how many times it should try to understand before it passes the chat to customer service. What would the communication method be, continue the chat (even though the customer might be annoyed) or take it to voice channel?

Q: Do you not think that the user has acclimatised to the asynchronicity of messaging and therefore is OK with a business not responding instantaneously? That is how they interact with friends on Messenger for example?

Q: Are you aware of any examples or case studies of businesses using chatbots internally, to reach their employees?

Q: I came a little late to this webinar and would love to have the recording please.

Q: Most of these examples are for Messenger but many don’t know how to do this. How can bot/AI be integrated straight into iMessage like a normal SMS conversation?

Q: I see a lot more space for Bots being used as “Persona” — It feels like Bots have to mimic a real person to be successful

Q: What about business models ? Thanks

Q: Do you think the apps and the bots will coexist? If yes, in which contexts do you see them coexisting?

Q: Please can this work for other social media apart from facebook?

Q: Chris, you once said in the O’Reilly podcast that the bot “Hi Poncho” sucks or he failed. How would you improve the chatbot?

Q: Regarding The Dream here, how close are we?

Q: What’s the best example of a chatbot that works with more than one human?



Chris Messina is the inventor of the hashtag, #1 Product Hunter, and an ever-curious product designer and technologist.

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Chris Messina

Inventor of the hashtag. Product therapist. Previously: Google, Republic, Uber, On Deck, YC W’18.