Snagging that big success will depend on whether or not you can build a chatbot that appeals to everyone – one that is universally useful. People quickly lose interest in chatbot apps when they realize the assistants are still woefully inadequate.As we've said many times on El Reg, a lot of today's AI systems are smart if you're prepared to act dumb.Rather than pull up your favorite news website, you'll simply ask out loud to your phone or speaker: what's happening in Linux today?Coupled with the fact that speech recognition systems perform slightly better than professional transcriptionists, the boom in interest for chatbots that you can hold a conversation with seems natural.On mobile phones, Apple will have another rival to deal with, as ex-Siri developers are in the process of building a virtual assistant for Samsung’s handhelds.With the rise of smartphones, the number of people accessing the internet through desktop computers has plummeted.If someone's lost, it’s easier and quicker to just go straight to Google Maps rather than consulting Google’s assistant Allo.The robot doesn’t give you any instructions, it just sends a link to Google Maps anyway – so why use a middleman if you can cut to the chase?
Today's models are rigid and can’t understand our idioms and natterings well enough to communicate effectively.It would correct your grammar, scold you for foul language, and help you waste your time on mastering 1337 speak and stealthily poaching the neighbors’ Wi-Fi. judge: Can I ask you about artificial intelligence? The days of Smarter Child are over, but chatbots are alive and well – perhaps more literally than ever. They’re just information retrieval systems – ask a simple question and you’ll get a simple answer.Unlike most AI applications, chatbots aren’t silently humming away in the background crunching numbers and making predictions from stats – they’re at the forefront directly interacting with people, and will have to adapt and become more human-like if they’re to win normal folk over.