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In many ways, self-driving cars have become the poster child for AI. It’s one of the most tangible forms of automation and from 10,000 feet, it feels like an impossibly complex problem for a computer. But the reality is that the rules a computer must follow to drive a car are very well defined. To be successful, a self-driving car really only needs to get from point A to point B without hitting anything. Sure, the devil is in the details, and I’m not trivializing the complexity of implementing that functionality. On the contrary, I think it’s a really useful benchmark.

Now let’s think about chatbots, or any other content AI. The goals are often far less obvious. Chat as a UX for simple operations isn’t so bad (asking about the store hours on Facebook), but when you start to think about a chatbot as a replacement for human support, the complexity goes through the roof. Conversation is exceptionally difficult because it involves an innate level of intuition, understanding, and judgement that is not only built upon vast quantity of information about the world around us, but also, the basic connection we all share: being human.

We let 16 year old kids drive. Would you let a 16 year old provide support and assistance to your customers?

You’re probably thinking “Geez, Patrick, that’s awful depressing. I really want a chatbot…” Me too. I think chatbots, and all other conversational content UX, are a big part of the future for content experience. So, all I’m saying is let’s not look at them, and present them, as human replacements. Let’s look at conversational UX as a way to deliver an experience for specific functions quickly. This is clearly how Google, Apple, and Amazon are looking at it.

 

Patrick Bosek

Patrick is a co-founder of Jorsek LLC, makers easyDITA. Since beginning with Jorsek LLC in 2005 Patrick, has worked on a wide range of projects all focused on improving authoring, production, and distribution of content. Most recently, his primary focus has been empowering the users of easyDITA and generally advancing the product documentation industry.

Patrick is a software industry professional specializing in developing, productizing, and solving problems with product content software. He is a highly skilled developer, thoughtful manager, passionate customer advocate.

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