Let’s talk about chatbots. My first interaction with a chatbot, like millions of others, was SmarterChild on AOL Instant Messenger, in the early 2000s. SmarterChild offered an early glimpse into the potential that an automated bot could offer to real-world interactions. However, personally, it felt like a novelty in the midst of an era of existential crisis for internet technologies.
Fast forward to today, and we can see that the proliferation of smartphones, messaging platforms with open APIs (Twilio, Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp, etc.), and advancements in artificial intelligence have graduated chatbots from internet novelty to business necessity.