Let's have a conversation
Graham Odds
Facebook Messenger?
Slack, iMessage, Skype, WeChat, Kik, LINE, ...?
3.0bn 2.5bn 2.0bn 1.5bn 1.0bn 0.5bn 0 monthly active users 2012 2013 2014 2015 Big 4 Messaging Apps Big 4 Social Networking Apps
~1bn monthly active users
195mins a week
That's nice, but so what
There's an app for that
Number of app downloads per month (by smartphone users) source: comScore MobiLens, U.S., Age 18+, 3 month avg. ending June 2014 0 apps 1 app 2 apps 3 apps 4 apps 5-7 apps 8+ apps 65.5% 8.4% 8.9% 6.2% 3.7% 4.8% 2.4%
Big whoop
It's probably just another fad...

Chatbots are the new apps.

Satya Nadella, CEO

Hmmmm so how do I make one?
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
IBM Watson, Microsoft Cognitive Services, TensorFlow, Parsey McParseFace, Wit.AI, Api.AI, ...
Awesome! Chatbots here I come
Convenient and in context
Interesting, tell me more

The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way. I don't want to focus my energies on an interface. I want to focus on the job... I don't want to think of myself as using a computer, I want to think of myself as doing my job.

— Don Norman in 1990
Natural User Interface
What You Do Is What You Get
Oh, the accessibility
NUI ≠ natural language
NUI = natural language + GUI + gestures + ...
Structured messages and extensions
That's a conversation?!
conversation ≠ chat
conversation = informal interchange of
  1. thoughts
  2. information
  3. intent
  4. ...
Focus on that interchange
Some examples maybe?
Take care of the mundane
Be part of day-to-day life
Keep sight of long-term interests
This is cool, but it's early days, it's not that big a deal, right?
Plenty of open questions
At the beginning of something significant
democratisation of knowledge printing p r ess libraries inte r net
democratisation of services inte r net open APIs AI Moo r e s Law conversation
At worst, conversational will make you look at your services differently
Bring on the conversation

Thank you

Graham Odds