The Debate About Bots: Conversational UX’s and the Future of Work

It’s no secret that bots and artificial intelligence (AI) are going to radically alter the way we live and work.

Future of Work

It’s no secret that bots and other kinds of artificial intelligence (AI) are going to radically alter the way we live and work.

Phil Libin, Executive Chairman of Evernote, and someone we’ve worked with closely as we’ve begun to grow as a company, just wrote an article on Medium on this topic last week, with some of his key points on current developments below:

1. Bots are going to rewrite the world of tech

As with the change of pace that came with the iPhone, which lead to creation of apps like Evernote, with the development of conversational UX’s, or bots, we’ve crossed what Libin calls the “good enough” line. Crossing this line, in effect, means that the development of these bots, comparable to the development of the iPhone, has reached a tipping point that signals that the technology to be taken up on a mass scale.

2. Bots will go beyond speech input/output and texting

Although many bots will feature this kind of functionality, the true value of a bot is able to understand what a user wants and then be able to respond dynamically. Bot can be their own apps or will form part of existing apps, like Facebook. Companies like Amazon are also investigating voiced activated bots with devices like the Amazon Echo.

3. With the technology in place the focus will shift to design

As with the development of the iPhone, application development had to happen within certain limitations until design shifted to keep pace with the capabilities of the technology. Libin believes bots are entering this phase now. The technology is there, it will just take improvements in design to take bots to the next level.

4. Bots won’t completely replace static apps

Even with all the advancements in bot design, there will still be room for static apps like design and authoring tools, spreadsheet software and Evernote. However, Libin thinks that up to 80% of what we use at home and at work, including everything to do with collaboration, communication, organisation and consumption will probably become a conversational bot.

5. Bots are going to change the way we use software

In addition to being a conversational customer and user experience element, bots are going to completely change the way we use software. Instead of having to learn how to use software applications as a separate mental process, with bots, we’ll no longer need to do tutorials or go through processes like onboarding. The idea is that these kinds of bots will complement the way we think naturally, and will therefore help us become more productive.

In response to this article, our team also had some strong opinions on the subject:

“Makes me wonder where the human side of implementation/change/adaptation can still beat bots?”- Bryony Cole, CXO

“Do we need to beat bots? Is a beautiful co-existence possible?”- Claire Burge- CEO

“I guess it depends how good and intuitive the bot is. We already use bots all the time. Online shops are a clear example with UX and UI design telling you what to do next. I still think that it’s a lot easier if someone is guiding you through an interface that you’ve never seen before and gives you hot tips, keyboard shortcuts etc.”- Nor Mira Canales- Designer

“I just read Phil’s article and my entire body feels electric and excited.”- Daphne Lopes, Business Development Manager

“Humans can’t beat the bots. It is indeed about us AND them! Take the best of us, add the best of them, and make magic!”- Anton Musgrave, Business Advisory

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