Not very long ago, chatbots were professed to be the future, a disruptive trend that was supposed to overtake web and mobile applications in popularity as well as functionalities. The bot revolution made it big in 2016 and that was the time when it became practically impossible to imagine running a business without these AI-powered assistants. Their popularity scaled such heights during this period that chatbot development services witnessed a surging demand on a global scale. However, the technology gradually lost steam as the shift from apps to bots did not materialize the way it was supposed to. Now the big question is what changed the scenario? What was the reason that chatbots lost the momentum that seemed to be so huge when the technology was in its initial stages? Before trying to unravel the answers to these questions, we need to introspect and understand things right from the beginning.
What made chatbots so big to start with?
Two years ago, the technology of Artificial Intelligence made a big impact as it surfaced in the form of intelligent bots. The reasons that they garnered instant popularity were more than one. The fact that they yield a conversational interface was the primary reason for their success. Being powered by AI and machine learning, chatbots are capable of understanding the users’ language and providing them a response accordingly. With this, businesses recognized them as useful marketing and relationship-building aid that helped them to propel their brands. Another reason that bots gained a good reputation was that they are easier to build as compared to apps. At the same time, users preferred them because they eliminated the need to download apps by replacing them for good.
So what stopped the chatbot revolution in its tracks?
Considering the features of these powerful virtual assistants, they seemed to bring a huge opportunity for every mobile app development company that was ready to match the demand. However, the revolution somehow stopped in its tracks because of the reasons that are yet to be verified. Here is what experts have to say about the culprits that may have led to the unexpected scenario.
Apps are irreplaceable
Despite the hype about chatbots being all set to replace apps for good, the good old mobile apps are still irreplaceable. They do much more than any conversational assistant can do, with their functionalities extending much beyond providing a messenger interface.
Conversations are challenging
Even though developers invested best efforts, conversations are still a major challenge for bots. Most of the users prefer fluid conversations (rather than algorithmic ones) as they would do with other humans. This could be another reason that this technology was unable to reach the heights that it was expected to.
Conversations are more than just text
Another probable reason for the decline of chatbots is that they are unable to make out the emotional aspects of human interactions. For humans, conversations are much more than text only as they include parameters such as tome of voice, gestures, and facial expressions, which are beyond the understanding of virtual assistants.
Blind pursuit brings no benefit
Bots reached the pinnacle of popularity at one point in time and this was when a majority of businesses embraced them. Several of them did not even ponder over their usability in their case. This blind pursuit of an emergent trend did not do much good for the technology and it lost its pace before gaining widespread acceptance.
Are chatbots dead?
The hype related to chatbots may be over today but this does not mean that they are dead. It is only that businesses have realized that their use is better limited to be used in conversation-intensive processes such as customer support. There too, they cannot be relied on completely, to understand the customer’s language and expectations fully. As AI and Natural Language Processing technologies continue to become more refined, chatbots can get more intelligent in the coming years. Overall, there is a need to connect with a professional iPhone and Android app development company is you want your business app to get the best benefits from chatbot integration.