Why Facebook Chatbot Sucks .. (Kinda) !

Why Facebook Chatbot Sucks .. (Kinda)  !

 

David Marcus announced the Messenger Platform which in his words would be used by businesses to build “deeper interactions with customers “  in a “contextual, convenient and delightful way”.

There’s nothing new in the concept of Chat Bots .The concept of chat bot for answering queries without human intervention started in 1950 with Alan Turing famous article Computing Machinery and Intelligence . ELIZA , one such bot  written at MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory  operated by processing user’s responses to scripts . Another famous chatbot of 1990s was A.L.I.C.E.

However , none of the chatbots could be successfully used as an alternative to human interaction or for the purpose of interacting with customers .

To put David Marcus contention of how facebook bots will provide “deeper interactions with customers” , I decided to do a chat with the available facebook bots . Here’s the transcript of chat with 1-800-Flowers:

1-800-Flowers :

Me : Hi

1-800-Flowers : *****, please enter the delivery address for these flowers. Include apartment # if needed .

 

Me : Which flowers ?

1-800-Flowers: can you send that address through again? Number, street, city, state, and ZIP, please.

 

Me : I didn’t send any address, I want to see and choose flowers first.

1-800-Flowers: can you send that address through again? Number, street, city, state, and ZIP, please.

 

Me : Kindly tell me if I order flowers using same-day-delivery after 5:00 p.m. Will my order still be delivered the same day ?

1-800-Flowers: can you send that address through again? Number, street, city, state, and ZIP, please.

 

Me : Come on ..

1-800-Flowers: Did you mean? Come on Down Furniture Consignment, East Riverside Drive, Saint George, UT, Unit..

 

Me : Is this some kind of a joke ?

1-800-Flowers: can you send that address through again? Number, street, city, state, and ZIP, please.

 

Zuckerberg said in F8 conference :

You never have to call 1-800-Flowers again” .

I am sure , after having this kind of chat , you probably will go with a better interacting vendor.

 

F8 Demo :

Nate Swanner from thenextweb gave it a try at F8 , you can see his experience here ,  it sucks !

Facebook messenger is being used by more than billion users and rightly so , however, I would be shocked if facebook would be able to get even a fraction of this volume in business . Any of the bots or frameworks developed so far including Facebook Bot platform  have failed to provide the required emotions , contextual understanding, feedback analysis and spontaneity required in human interaction .

Facebook Bot platform , at the most can provide business with ,shallow interactions with customers  in a non-contextual, convenient and not so pleasant way.