What are ways that chatbots will impact the way we interact with everyday items/products such as appliances?
Chatbots will decrease human interaction with appliances as voice and connected home technology are continuously developed and adapted.
Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.
CHATBOTS' impact on human interactions
Chatbots Magazine predicted in 2016 that within 5 years, all modern devices as well as most high-end appliances will be equipped with a voice assistant or chatbot.
Information Age outlines the ways chatbots impact human interactions with everyday items such as appliances:
Home: Chatbots can lessen the time people interact with other everyday products including appliances. For example, a user can instruct a bot to play music or order food without disengaging from their current activity, such as cooking or washing dishes. Such a scenario does not require a user to interact with a home entertainment system or their mobile phone to multi-task. Chatbots and home assistants will also evolve to be the "fully functional personal home assistant of the future," becoming the glue for smart appliances to build a connected home.
Interaction with screens: The growing popularity and application of chatbots will eventually decrease humans' interaction with traditional screen devices such as TV, desktops and even mobile phones. Interaction with these devices will increasingly be hands-free thanks to chatbots. By 2020, more than 200 billion web searches per month will be conducted by voice.
Appliance Repairs: Interestingly, Forbes reported in 2017 that chatbots can help people even in appliance repairs. The Indian company Bajaj Electricals developed a chatbot for first-time appliance buyers. These consumers may be located in rural and remote areas with restricted access to appliance repair shops. Bajaj's chatbot helps consumers report appliance problems, request demos, or schedule appointments with an appliance technician. As such, Bajaj's chatbot reduces the level of consumer frustration with appliance problems. Instead of users throwing out broken appliances, Bajaj's chatbot can lengthen appliance lifetime by delivering technical support efficiently.
Workplace: Chatbots will also impact the way people interact in their work environments, from simple administrative tasks to more complicated activities. For example, companies can add a chatbot to assist in scheduling meetings by accessing and coordinating workers' calendars. This decreases interaction with other appliances such as company phones and desktops. The Information Age article also adds that chatbots can help in assisting with minor issues such as ticket logs, page maintenance, etc. so that IT departments can focus on core tasks.
This 2018, French startup Netatmo launched its chatbot "Smart Home Bot" to control smart appliances and devices in the home. Netatmo has also partnered with smart appliance brands to integrate connected appliances into its system. These include Legrand's connected switches and Velux's connected windows. Netatmo is also working with Groupe Muller to connect its chatbot with the latter's smart radiators and home heaters. Interestingly, Tech Crunch reported that Netatmo is targeting construction companies that build and sell connected homes. To date, there are around 140 apartments that have installed Netatmo solutions.
Medical Futurist reported that health chatbots are also being developed to act as health assistants to the elderly or people with disability. These include Kore.ai, a Korean company that sells chatbots which assist patients with appointments and prescriptions, as well as delivering lab outcomes. Another is Florence, a chatbot that acts as a personal nurse for the elderly. Such chatbots decrease user interaction with appliances such as telephones, desktops, and others for certain tasks in their daily lives.
Tech Emergence reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a year building an AI assistant named Jarvis. Zuckerberg envisioned connecting many home devices to one network centered on Jarvis. However, the article pointed out that the primary limitation for Zuckerberg was not technology or money, "but rather having devices that could easily communicate with each other and Jarvis in a central, unified system." The article goes on to predict that if either Google or Amazon succeeds in building such a network, a Jarvis-like connected home could be a reality for most people in the next 5 years.
Information Week reported that "Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond" predicted that chatbots will make up 85% of all customer service chats by 2020. Also, Forbes reported that by 2020, the average human will converse with a chatbot longer than with their spouse.
The Gartner report also discusses other digital innovations such as Internet of Things and algorithms to alter human behavior. However, access is only available to subscribers. You may visit here for more information.
Here are additional materials for further review:
"Chatbots Market, by 2021" by Markets & Markets reports that the global market for chatbots will reach $3.1 billion by 2021.
"The Role of Voice in Human-Machine Communication" by the National Academic Press (NAP) points out several situations where voice interactions with a machine may be of advantage compared to typing, touching screens, etc.
To wrap it up, chatbots will eventually decrease human interaction with appliances as technologies such as voice command, smart appliances and connected homes are continuously developed and adapted.