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Ask HN: Are bots just a hype?
3 points by kyloren on June 16, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

Everyone seems to be crazy over bots, but I want to know your opinion about this.

Are these bot's just having a hype time?

I know bots can be good for existing businesses to communicate with their users.

But can a new service be brought to life starting as a bot? Is it the next generation of apps?

Anyone who has made a bot and seeing success from it? if so what problems have you guys came across in making, distributing your bot.

What's HN opinion about this?

Pure Chat Bots or more correctly ICR (Interactive Chat Response) systems are a niche UI for a limited number of use cases.

The more interesting is the App-in-an-App concept and Android Instant Apps.

But experimenting with the new types of UI is a good thing.

I predict that all those experiments with chat bots will lead to the adoption of Multi-modal interfaces (integrated GUI, menus, chat, voice, VR, etc.)

Eventually we'll switch to Neural interfaces using brain-implantable chips.

Currently the advantage of chat bots, that they are much easier and cheaper to prototype and develop than web or native apps. The agency will charge you $50K for a high-quality native app, but only $5K for the same quality and functionality chat bot.

Another advantage is the free distribution channels: Skype, FB Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Kik, WhatsApp, etc.

If you plan to build a platform or another bot enabling technology, you already late to the party.

Bots are not hype. I see a problem with building a business with bots. Someone else controls the platform: the users belong to that business first and a bot based business second. Twitter, Facebook, iOS all had early movers building businesses at the pleasure of the platform owner only to later have their products obsoleted by policy changes. There's nothing in the business model of bots that's any different.

Good luck.

The business people certainly seems to think bots are the "next big thing".

We had a similar but smaller hype in customer support chatbots around y2k, which sort of died out when the tech did not meet the expectations.

This time around, however, it seems to me the tech has matured enough to actually survive the hype.

(I used to work building chat bots for several mid-large business around 2000-2002)

Yah true I also think bots have a potential to change the way users deal with businesses.

But as some say bots will replace apps. But can we have a time where bot first? I mean is there a potential for bots to work with end users instead of used by companies like Instagram and Snapchat?

Yea, personally I am excited to see what will come out of the Siri developers kit that was announced this week.

I do not understand how/why bots would replace apps. Perhaps I am narrow-minded about this, but personally I prefer to stay in (some) control of my devices and work-flow.

Cloud based bots are a sad situation, where end user is getting further out of control. But it doesn't have to be like this. Check out https://mycroft.ai/

Language is the most natural human UI for giving complex instructions. Software hasn't caught up yet. Bots will be big when the software has caught up (and lots of big companies see this as happening soon).

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