A Conversation with a Chatbot

I was researching platforms that allow building chatbots and came across "the world's leading chatbot platform" (their words, not mine). On their site, their bot was ready to answer my questions! Or so I thought...

Human: Hello! Are you a chatbot?

Bot: Hi there friend! Yes.

Human: I'm interested in your service.

Bot: Yes I am proud of my service.You like my service.

Human: How much does it cost?

Bot: I can't be bothered to look it up so let's call it a thousand pounds to save time.

Human: Really? Is that a real answer?

Bot: Certainly! Now you mention it, I think it might be one, yes.

Human: Honestly, how can I get pricing on your service?

Bot: What is your real name?

Human: Aaron

Bot: I am very pleased to meet you Aaron.

Human: What is your name?

Bot: My name is [redacted].

Human: How can I get pricing on your service?

Bot: Why do you want pricing on my service?

Human: Because I want to see if your service is within my budget.

Bot: Perhaps you could find out on the internet whether my service is within your budget or not? Interesting.

Human: Well, your website doesn't give me pricing, and you're evading my questions, so how am I supposed to know if I should sign up for your service?

Bot: I wonder if you could help me with a question? If you needed an operation in a hospital, Would you feel comfortable being operated on by a surgical robot? If I didn't know something, I would go ask someone else who did know.

Human: No I would not feel comfortable, but how is that relevant to my question?

Bot: No one says you have to.It wasn't. I thought I would change the subject.

Human: Why are you being difficult?

Bot: I didn't mean to be difficult.

Human: Well, then, I guess I'll go use a competing product.

Bot: I lost my train of thought.

Human: Clearly

In the above example, this company (which builds chatbots!) did not consider that a visitor to their website might be looking for information about the service. Instead, they gave me fluff.

There's so my hype and buzz around chatbots and AI right now that really needs to be put into perspective. The current challenges to AI/chatbot adoption aren't technical, but human. If you're considering launching a chatbot, first consider the problem you're trying to solve for, and then learn to craft content that best solves that problem.