The idea is that these bots will let you interact with businesses much like you trade text with friends and family, letting you do stuff much quicker than you could using a dozens of disparate smartphone apps. Some people call this “conversational commerce.” But there are limits to the conversation.
Chatbots, you see, don’t chat very well. Even those built atop the latest tech are limited in what they can understand and how well they can respond. For now, talking to a bot is like talking to, well, a machine. That makes conversational commerce feel like a false promise. But maybe the problem isn’t the tech. Maybe it’s the promise. “I think we’re going through a temporary hype era of ‘bot BS’ right now,” says Navid Hadzaad. And he runs a bot company.