An artificial intelligence “chatbot” from Taco Bell now lets you order a meal in a smartphone text exchange that might look something like this:
You: Can I order one soft taco with beef?
TacoBot: Sounds good… do you want to keep adding stuff? Maybe some bacon?
Brands like Taco Bell and tech companies large and small are betting that more and more people will start using this “conversational” way of interacting online instead of clicking through on-screen menus.
If the trend catches on—as firms like Facebook and Microsoft expect—it could transform the digital landscape by allowing smartphone users to find information or make purchases with simple text messages, bypassing apps and search engines.
Among the companies already developing or launching chatbots are the Wall Street Journal, CNN and retail giants Sephora and H&M.
I – Word Understanding
Chatbots – an AI program designed to simulate intelligent conversation thru written or spoken text
Catches on – becomes popular
II – Have Your Say
1. Why chatbots? Chatbots are fun, faster and more convenient than clicking through online menus or…..talking to human customer service. Are you looking forward to using chatbots?
2. Have you ever heard of the Turing Test? It is a test to determine whether or not a computer (AI) has achieved human intelligence. Do you think present AI can soon pass the Turing Test?
3. In March, Microsoft launched a teenaged-chatbot designed to learn from online exchanges with real people. However, within 24 hours, it learned giving inappropriate/rude replies, taught by some ill-willed online responders. Soon, Microsoft took it offline for adjustments to the software.