Chatbots are big news in Silicon Valley right now. â€œBots are the new apps!â€said Microsoft chief Satya Nadella recently, Facebookâ€™s just announced a large collection, while Wiredâ€™s latest article on the subject puts the phrase â€œpost-app internetâ€ right up in the headline.
Great. But what can you actually do with them?
In the short term, many chatbots are basically
glorified search boxes. Itâ€™s very early days, judging by the first wave of Facebook Messenger bots, which launched its chatbot platform this week.
Iâ€™ve been chatting to six of them, and most provide information and links in response to keywords and/or selections from multiple-choice menus.