We know the potential for the chatbot interface to be one of the defining stories of connected living in 2017 is there. Mike has covered the variety of ways that “social messaging chatbots” will impact the smart home and of course, the smart kitchen. MasterCard isn’t new to the smart home game – you might remember that they are the financial provider backing grocery ordering on Samsung’s FamilyHub smart fridge.
They’re clearly betting on bot applications as a way to encourage the easy use of their products on the Masterpass platform. Last week at Facebook’s developer conference, MasterCard announced a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, allowing customers to order from select retail and food vendors by chatting with the AI-powered interface. Similar to the on-fridge ordering partnership on the FamilyHub, MasterCard will work with Fresh Direct for chatbot grocery needs and also announced Cheesecake Factory and Subway for takeout food services.
MasterCard has prioritized chatbot integrations, releasing its bot API to developers earlier in the year. According to their developer site, MasterCard wants to make it easy to incorporate their “digital payment technology into conversational commerce experiences.” Beyond food ordering, the platform could be used to order from any retail partner in the future – giving Facebook an easy way to compete with online commerce giants and keeping consumers on the platform longer.
Facebook is increasingly interested in bot technology and sees its Messenger platform as a way for brands to reinvent customer communications and e-commerce. Facebook advertising, an increasingly popular way for brands to reach consumers by taking advantage of all the data Facebook collects on its users and serving them up personalized ads. Brands that advertise and have a large presence on the platform often use Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers, sending order and shipment information after a sale and answering questions. You can envision a future where as ad served up to someone who had recently been browsing for new shoes takes them to a chatbot that can offer custom selections and complete the sale right in the interface.
The opportunities in using natural language processing and artificial intelligence to communicate with us wherever we’re used to having conversations – whether that’s via text or in different messenger apps – are huge. Since Facebook introduced the concept, over 11,000 bots have been introduced on Messenger.
Whether it’s helping consumers cook their favorite recipe, ordering food or even communicating with their home, chatbots are definitely here to stay.