On March 19, 2020
The 2010s ushered in a significant era of both innovation and evolution in the tech world. At the start of the decade, “chatbot” didn’t mean much to most people. By 2019, conversational marketing, machine learning and AI were all beginning to see measurable impact on the world around them. With a new decade before us, we’re curious: how will chatbots evolve in the next ten years?
Before you can know where you’re going, it’s important to remember where you’ve been. In 2010, social media was the talk of the town. The sense of FOMO was strong in the business world, and seemingly overnight, every company had their own Facebook account. Then Twitter. Then YouTube. Then Instagram. Then Google+… ok, maybe not that one. While the consumer world is poised for a similar rapid-fire adoption of AI in the roaring 2020s, we’ve seen the tech start to pick up steam even in the last two years of the ‘10s.
2019 saw chatbots more intelligent and – arguably, most importantly – more human than ever before with no end to the evolution in sight. Studies show 70% of consumers enjoy chatting with a bot in order to communicate with a business, so the willingness in the market is already there. In fact, according to Mindshare, 63% of consumers believe businesses should be on Messenger, one of the increasingly-quintessential platforms for businesses to start with, when they decide to dip their toes into the conversational marketing world. In September 2018, there were already 30,000 chatbots on Facebook being used by people in 200 countries. This brings us back to 1994 again, when companies were wondering if they should have a website. Today, that seems like an obvious answer – yes. Looking ahead, businesses that win will be those that are best able to capitalize on conversational interactions. That means starting now.
While admittedly predicting the future of technology can leave your Magic 8 ball saying, “Try again later,” there are some key trends today that indicate the trajectory of bots across the next 120 months. Christi Olson, head of evangelism for search at Bing, sees bots becoming more human. “The chatbots of the future don’t just respond to questions. They talk. They think. They draw insights from knowledge graphs. They forge emotional relationships with customers.” We’ve already started to see this shift in bots in recent years, but advancements in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) will open the doors for these bots that feel more like a confidante than a computer. Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google and well-known inventor and futurist, predicts that chatbots will have human-level language ability by the year 2029.
Voice Assistants will also evolve in the next decade, particularly in the realm of voice. Alexa and Google Voice/Home dominate the space today, and nearly everyone has used one for something – even if it was just asking about the weather. By 2030, though, get ready to consider your virtual assistant something you couldn’t live without. Especially at work, these assistants will take on many tasks that currently eat up time and reduce efficiency. From scheduling meetings to tracking, sorting and instantly retrieving data to processing IT requests, these assistants will automate and conquer the tasks that take up too much time for no reason, so we can focus on complex and creative pursuits.
While there are still so many unknowns, one thing is certain: conversational marketing introduces an innovative, exciting and ever-evolving channel for businesses to communicate with consumers. What types of communications? Practically anything you can think of. From improving your company’s ability to capture and cultivate meaningful leads to chat blasting (think eblasts but in chat) to processing customer service requests, those points of interaction will take place via chat with growing frequency over the next decade.
Start 2020 off strong with a conversational marketing partner who will guide you purposefully and thoughtfully through the next decade, no matter what innovations it brings to the world of chat solutions. Learn how your organization can become conversational and schedule a free demo with Botco.ai.