Artificial Intelligence in the form of chatbots are super popular right now. Microsoft announced a few new AI tricks and now Facebook has a chatbot that will help you with search.
But what are chatbots, really? Are they something incredibly futuristic that we should all know more about? Are they mind blowing? Are they amazing and ready to take over the future? Here’s a closer look.
What Chatbots Are Not
While it would be really awesome to have an AI helper akin to Jarvis in the Iron Man movies, this isn’t really where AI tech is right now. At present, chatbots are really just better or more powerful chat tools. So while you can use a chatbot to do things like look something up for you when using a chat program, you can’t ask your chatbot to go grocery shopping for you or build an indestructible suit.
There are actually a lot of chatbots out there too. Many companies have adopted this form of artificial intelligence and some without any real announcement. A few companies that are on the chatbot bandwagon include the NY Times, Facebook, and a handful of startups with apps based on chatbots that will help you do everything from find a place to eat to read through the latest novel.
Where Chatbots Are Going
If you look at a company like Microsoft, you’ll see that their vision for chatbots is something like Jarvis. The company wants AI to be more than what Siri currently offers but also an effective tool for everything from search to helping users with basic daily tasks. The future of chatbots looks really amazing, but we aren’t there yet - despite what companies would like us to think.
Will chatbots take over the world one day? No, but they are a starting point for bigger and better things. Essentially, a chatbot is just a more intelligent search engine tool or messenger tool, but all great technology begins with a simple base. That base, in this case, it the bot. Today it’s a bot and tomorrow it’s - well, it’s hard to tell what it will be tomorrow, but it’s going to be something intelligent and artificial.
Fun for All
What the existing chatbots are is fun. Many of these app bots are simply fun to play around with and use for the sake of passing the time. If you are going to use the NY Times one, for example, you can find more information than what you might be able to find were you to simply conduct a search on your own - that bot picks up details based on your typing.
Facebook’s new bots are meant to make messenger easier. The company foresees its bots helping you do things like order pizza and communicate with other companies (a form of customer service, in a way). In some manners companies like Facebook are really making strides where artificial intelligence is concerned, but it’s a long way to go still before bots start to take over the world.