The biggest trends of SXSW Interactive: AI and Chatbots

Share this post:

We’re in the midst of SXSW Interactive here in Austin, Texas. What’s the hot topic around Interactive? AI and chatbots. With that mind, I decided to attend the “Building B2B Bots” session hosted by Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO HubSpot inbound marketing. The digital marketing whiz and noted startup angel investor led the conversation about bots and how they will affect how we’ll do business in the near future.

Why is there buzz surrounding chatbots? Decades ago businesses started building websites, now they will start building bots. Shah explained, “What 1997 was to Internet and browsers, 2017 is to bots.” The shortest time between a customer question and an answer will be a bot. Every website is trying to get customers and answer questions from a business perspective, and this can complement search for websites.

According to Shah, there are two reasons chatbots have changed technology recently:

  • Advances in AI and machine learning have made natural language recognition much better. In present day, there are bots with some semblance of Natural Language Understanding.
  • Messaging is taking off, and it’s not just consumer phenomenon. Think about in your current job using messaging apps such as Slack, Facebook Workplace, etc (The majority of the room raised their hands when asked if they use these). We as professional workers are spending more time on messaging apps to do work. And since people are already used to interacting with people, it’s not different having to interact with software.

Chatbots gave us a new interaction model with the conversation. Well done mobile apps embrace the constraints, but well done bots embrace the conversation.

How can you get started with chatbots? According to Shaw, try some bots and get a feel for where things are headed. In case you’re not familiar, we offer Watson Conversation, where you can build a chatbot in 10 minutes. Check out Watson Conversation here.

Hubspot Academy also has a cool Watson plugin. Try it out here.

Follow @MaryReisert, or you can always catch her at @IBMWatson.

Build your own bot with Watson.


Add Comment
No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *

More Events Stories
July 26, 2017

Meet the 13-year-old prodigy taking IBM and artificial intelligence by storm

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) recently profiled 13-year-old Canadian tech prodigy Tanmay Bakshi who started using computers at age five, launched his first app at age nine, and has been working with IBM's AI and cognitive APIs for a couple of years now. In 2013, at age nine, he built "tTables," an app to help kids learn multiplication, an incredible achievement for a child who loves to code but is largely self-taught.

Continue reading

July 20, 2017

Watch your tone! IBM expands on Watson’s tone sensitivity for customer service applications

Watson's Tone Analyzer API is expanding its emotional understanding to help businesses better solve customer engagement challenges. The new feature detects frustration, satisfaction, excitement, politeness, impoliteness, sadness and sympathy.

Continue reading

July 6, 2017

How Wimbledon is using IBM Watson AI to power highlights, analytics and enriched fan experiences

As the official IT consultant to Wimbledon for 28 years, IBM delivers new levels of engagement for attendees and 70 million online fans. Watson is analyzing 22 years of data and 53,713,514 tennis data points. A Watson-powered digital assistant helps fans around the venue.

Continue reading