Back in the 1980s, I took a philosophy exam and answered a question about whether artificial intelligence was possible or not. Blade Runner had just come out and as I loved it, I answered “yes” by writing an imaginary conversation between a human volunteer and a program speaking over the phone. I didn’t know the word then, but I was writing about a “chatbot.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Avi Ben Ezra, the Chief Technology Officer of Snatchbot. Founded in January of 2015 with the goal of making bot-building easy and accessible, Snatchbot is an Israeli company with more than ten full-time employees. Avi is the architect of the platform and the user interfaces.
I brushed up on my interest in the subject of chatbots and asked Avi about his vision of the future.
There is going to be an exponential growth in the role of chatbots over the next decade. Already, given the current state of the market and the speed at which it is expected to grow, we can see how rapidly the use of bots is advancing: a recent chatbot report released by BI Insider revealed over 80% of businesses are expected to have implemented some sort of chatbot solution by 2020. As the market pushes the technology forward, interactions with chatbots will become more and more sophisticated.
I think so, but let’s split this question into two parts: what we can be sure of and what we can speculate about.