The article by analyst @jowyang on Techcrunch today:
Took us back in time, about 2 years, when we first tested automated “human’ish” responses with our platform, via Twitter (and, even into Facebook, via IM).
We discussed with Brands about the cost and scaling of “humans” v. automated bots (as well as consistency and the instant response we provide), but, 2 years ago, I guess we came across sounding like Science Fiction fans, not mobile and social marketers!
So, today, it’s official, we in the “nascent, but growing” stage of seeing this engagement format move into the marketplace. Our two years of building our platform and testing our “creative” and interactive narrative positions us well ahead of anyone just starting to dabble in this space.
@jowyang’s “future” looks like this:
“Human-like Relationships: While on the distant horizon, artificial intelligence agents will simulate human behavior and be a guiding agent, conversationalist, and act like a real world concierge, “
Well, that’s what our “today” looks like. Brand Agents who guide.
Our blog posts haven’t used the CATEGORY “AI and Twitter” in a heck of a long time. Nice to dust that off again!
Now, we do respect that there are diverging opinions on this topic, really just specific to use of automation within “social media,” as if it’s a “pure” landscape that should be reserved for “humans only.” (See the OPINIONS section of the Techcrunch article).
We have the ability to clone or create the “best” customer service bots, who respond instantly, around the clock – and can manage high volumes of concurrent users (and each receives a personalized response). Compare that to most “human” customer service representatives? Perhaps most who work a Brands Twitter account are a bit hipper than those in the Call Centers, but, well, we can add “hip” to our bots. Do people really care if it’s human or silicon, provided they get what they need? Quickly?
As humans, we’ve adapted and evolved to accept Human::Machine interaction quite well. At the grocery, if the line is shorter at the automated check-out, that’s where we go. Yes, I like a brief chat with the human check-out person, but, nine times out of ten, I head to the automated check-out, who is always friendly and gets me out the door quickly (And I never find someone has put the fresh strawberries at the bottom of the bag).