Bot Conversations

The “IoT and The Future of Commerce” whitepaper makes the point that merchants and brands need to work out how they market their products to smart devices, and the role that product information plays therein. Combined with the (re)surgence of chatbots, one can imagine bots having conversations with and marketing to other bots. AI-powered chatbots have been in the news lately with announcements by MicrosoftFacebook and others.

Devices that buy products on behalf of their owners will access product information in two ways – through a search engine tuned for bots or through conversations with other bots. The latter scenario doesn’t expose the universe of product information but is a call and response approach to accessing the right information.

The reason to have a chat-based approach at all between two bots is so that their human overlords can look at the conversations in case a bot incorrectly orders products or they want to tune the bot’s judgment. Human supervision will be critical until bots learn to negotiate different scenarios on their own. Product information for conversational commerce will be important even in a world where the Internet of Things does a lot of or most of the shopping.

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