A Visual History Of Chatbots


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Chatbots continue to grow in popularity with 80% of businesses expecting to be using one by 2020. Though it may feel like the term ‘chatbot’ has only recently entered the public lexicon, they actually have a longer history than you might expect.

There are now chatbots for multiple uses such as timesheets (Nika), Expenses (Acebot), Customer Service (Twyla), FAQ bots (QnA) and feedback (Wizu).

We decided to take a trip down memory lane and create a visual history of chatbots so you can see the major landmarks and evolution from a mere concept to the huge range of bots we see today.

Before we look at the history of bots though – let’s consider what the future holds. What are the next chatbots that will make a big impact over the next few years?

Well in the short term, Facebook have just launched ‘Chat Extensions’ which lets you use Messenger bots in group chats so you and your friends can interact with a bot together. There has also long been a rumour of Apple creating its own smart home speaker hub and the latest whispers suggest a release is imminent. It is believed to have some form of Beats technology and is expected to run a variant of iOS. This could suggest it might have a touchscreen display, which would make sense due to the rumblings that the next-gen Echo Amazon is working on, might also include a screen.

In the longer term, as the technology continues to evolve, more AI and speech based bots will enter the market. Bots will also be able to do more, such as process payments, diagnose illnesses, manage your finances and ultimately understand how you feel. Chatbots are going nowhere and there are sure to be even more milestones on the way. For now though, lets take a look back at the history of chatbots and the key creations that paved the way for the current generation.

Visual History Of Chatbots


Martin Powton
I have over 13 years' experience in digital marketing and am interested in all areas of marketing, customer experience and employee wellbeing.


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