Chatbots: What are they and how will they evolve?

Cosmetics brands have been exploring independent chatbot apps to push campaigns and products, but the future could lie in a more centralised approach, saving consumers the hassle of multiple log-ins

In 2016, ‘chatbot’ made the shortlist for Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year, alongside ‘alt-right’, ‘hygge’, ’Brexiteer’ and ‘coulrophobia’ – the latter being an irrational fear of clowns.

While all of these were ultimately bested by ‘post-truth’, it’s generally accepted that this yearly selection of terms provides a broad-scale insight into the mindset of the general public at the time.

So what does the inclusion of chatbot say about society and consumers today?

Chatbots or chatterbots are computer programmes designed to respond to questions and keywords automatically.

A report by Juniper Research forecasts that chatbots will save the customer services industry, including retail and e-commerce, more than . . .

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