We’re at the cusp of a sharp rise in devices that have no screen but do have conversational voice controls, such as the Amazon Echo. Smart home and Internet-of-things (IoT) objects that respond to users’ voices will improve and become more intuitive with further iterations and wider adoption.
Already they can, for example, dim the lights in a room and play a favorite song. With practice, and, by the virtues of machine learning, these user experiences will become ever more intuitive, capable, and innate.
Beyond the IoT, brands are seeing bots as a new type of media – one that can be harnessed to expand a company’s reach to new customers and networks. As brands use bots more and more to handle customer interactions, make recommendations, and help fulfill requests, those brands and the bots themselves also absorb insights about customer behaviors and needs.
Bots have the important ability to share common context, so they understand when a user is continuing to speak about a topic, or switching to a different one. For example, the user can say, “What will the weather be in Santa Cruz this weekend,” and then “Ok, book a hotel there,” and then “Would be nice if you could order flowers for my wife to have on arrival” — and the bot will access the appropriate services, sparing the user from launching separate apps (and starting over from the beginning each time).