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CONVERSATIONAL
INTERFACES
DESIGNING FOR—AND BEYOND
—BOTS AND AGENTS
September 23 @nextconf
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ma...
“Machines should work; People should think” an excerpt from
The Jim Henson Company 1967 video "Paperwork Explosion”.
from ...
"The dream of conversational interfaces
is that they will finally allow humans to
talk to computers in a way that puts the
...
A conversational interface is a program that you primarily
interact with through a back-and-forth dialog—using either voic...
The two most common types of CUI are currently (text-based)
chatbots and (mostly voice-based) AI assistants. But there
are...
“The introduction of bots to
Facebook and other platforms has
been overhyped—and the bots
themselves often aren't very
goo...
WHY NOW?
5
Chatbots are not a new invention, and either are AI assistant.
Clippy, 1997
The much hated Clippy was
annoying, because it...
The reason conversational
interfaces may finally go
mainstream, is that we’ve
reached a combination or
human and technologi...
Artificial intelligence
The past few years have seen big
advances in artificial intelligence,
and machine learning technolog...
Cloud computing + data
The widespread availability of
low-cost, “infinite storage”
through cloud computing let to a
big dat...
Mobile is everywhere
Number of mobile internet device subscriptions worldwide (in billions)
Mobile now reaches half the
wo...
For many mobile-first users, social and messaging apps are a primary window
onto the internet. In fact—many even believe th...
Source: Why Southeast Asia is Leading the world’s most disruptive business models
find a social vendor browse products inqu...
“Most smartphone users download zero apps per month” - Quartz
Fewer apps used per month
of time spent on mobile is within
...
AI ASSISTANTS VS CHATBOTS
10
AI assistants are services whose
job is to serve as an enabler for
different types of interactions. 
Their primary means o...
Most assistants have a collection of core behaviours—such as
fetching the time, setting an alarm, or sending an email—but ...
With each new brand that
creates a service for the
platform, the assistant (and
therefore its users) gain a
new set of ski...
Bots are small services
that you ‘chat’ with
through a text interface
such as Facebook
Messenger or SMS. 
Chatbots (…or Bo...
Some bots are standalone products,
while others aim to provide a subset of
tasks from a larger service.
In this sense, bot...
There are already quite a few
hybrid approaches. Facebook
M for example, is an AI
assistant that uses text chat
instead of...
Hopefully not :-)
There are many contexts where
we will still need a more traditional
graphical UI—either because the
task...
These apps may however
soon have bots of their own.
AI-powered assistive
interfaces are starting to
appear within more com...
An AI whose job is to watch
over us…
•to proactively problem solve,
•suggest more effective
ways to complete a task,
•prov...
…hence all the hype :)
The promise of conversational apps appears huge:
•more human and personal than a GUI
•faster and si...
…maybe one day a
companion—rather than
merely a tool
DESIGNING FOR CONVERSATION
20
In this section, we’ll look at common challenges, and
design considerations when building bots and
conversational services...
We are in the “primordial soup” phase of bots and AI-augmented services.
Existing platforms are immature, and prone to cha...
0. PLAN FOR DISCOVERY
Although bots are zero-install,
(and ‘skills’ for assistant
platforms are broadly similar)
users still have to know the
se...
Thankfully, some platforms
already offer tools that make it
easy to share a bot or embed
just-in-time discovery within
oth...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marketingfacts/6323249188/
Just in time discovery isn’t
limited to digital platforms. A
key e...
CASE STUDY: 

CONTEXTUAL DISCOVERY
KLM embeds Messenger plugins
at various stages:
• ticket purchase,
• check-in
• boarding pass retrieval
Users who opt-in, ...
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
30
Today (and for the foreseeable
future) bots and AI assistants will
remain pretty simple. Today’s
services are good at answ...
CUI proponents often
compare them to gesture
and touch based interfaces.
Interfaces that ‘natural’—
because most people
al...
‘Natural’ but not
automatically intuitive
While they may at first glance
seem intuitive, ‘natural’
interaction models often...
Similarly, if you don’t know
what a bot or AI assistant can
do, or how to properly ask, you
can waste a lot of time
guessi...
The majority of bots are also still
powered by rules (not that
different from the decision trees
we’ve used for years in t...
And although chats look like a
conversation, the bot is simply ‘slot-
filling’—asking the necessary questions
to formulate ...
Bots that use elements of
machine learning may go a step
further, as they can begin to
understand language*.
Users can the...
The most useful and successful
bots (even fairly complex ones)
have one job.
They also solve real,
demonstrable problems (...
The problem the bot solves
should be easy to convey, simple
to understand, and (hopefully)
include steps that users may be...
2. SET EXPECTATIONS
40
Use any means available to
help users quickly understand
what they can do.
Hello!
Monday, 4:09 pm
Hello…
Monday, 4:09 pm
H...
Most bots are zero-install, but users
still see a bit of information before
they begin a chat.
Facebook Messenger for exam...
It’s also good practice to welcome users with a few prompts describing
the most likely starting point, and what informatio...
The more constrained or well understood the task—for example booking a train
ticket—the more likely users will make correc...
Platforms such as Facebook
Messenger, Telegram, and
Slack also enable you to
include custom buttons and
keyboards (in Tele...
CASE STUDY: 

RESTRICTING TASKS AT PLATFORM-LEVEL
15
Apple has restricting third-party apps
within Siri to six domains: ride booking,
messaging, photo and video, payments,
VoI...
3. DO INVOLVE HUMANS :)
55
Bots shouldn’t attempt
to replace what is best
left to a traditional
graphical UI.
(…and if they do, they maybe shouldn’t ...
They also shouldn’t
attempt to replace things
that humans are really
good at…
Computers are really good at…
• data retriev...
There are also very basic
aspects of ‘real’ human
conversation that computers
still struggle with.
This includes, maintain...
In the case of Facebook M and personal
assistants like x.ai, providing human
assistance in tandem with automation
may be p...
CASE STUDY: 

BUILT-IN HUMAN ROUTING BASED ON CONTEXT
15
Edward’s design was informed by a
deep understanding of typical
guest queries. The goal was to
automate the most common an...
Edward’s handles routine questions,
and automatically routes more
complex requests to appropriate staff.
Source: Aspect so...
4. GIVE USERS AN ESCAPE HATCH
Despite your best efforts,
users will get stuck, or
need help that’s beyond
the bot’s capabilities.
Always build in easy a...
Shown when you first open the bot.
Nice! But you may forget it’s there.
I tried this, to see what would happen,
and was ple...
5. CONSIDER PERSONALITY AND
PERSONA
60
“Pretending that bots are humans is
impersonal. If customers are in conversation
with an entity that they think is a perso...
Source: @jonesa
This is down to trust, but also our tendency to anthropomorphize;
to attribute human characteristics to an...
“[iRobot] regularly received calls asking for help to
fix “Rosie” or “Seamus” or “Floorence”. Customers
expressed concern w...
…it can even occur
when a ‘thing’ has no
physical form at all.
As people are likely to
attribute human qualities to
your bot regardless, you
should consider what kind of
personality you...
Personality can be tricky to get
right. A common problem is to
misjudge how much personality
may be too much—and in what
c...
Persona mismatch?

Facebook is trying to seem friendly,
but if the context is wrong, it just feels
weird (Zach is Scott’s ...
People often experiment with a
bot (either to understand what
it can do, or just for fun).
Anticipating these questions is...
6. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

(I.E. HUMANS)
Communicating with services
on a private device, and in a
more personal context, also
changes our expectations.
Any brand ...
Society is still coming to terms
with what this means, and
where the responsibility may
lie in these complex, and very
hum...
7. GROUP DISCUSSION
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinou/453593446
thank you
many thanks to the
amazing photographers on
http://creativecommons.o...
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Designing for conversation

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With each passing day, our relationship with computers grows more personal. The touch of a human hand has replaced the mouse, and conversational interfaces now seem set to replace all manner of button or conventional interface. Is this pure hype, or a true step change in the evolution of personal computing?
In this workshop we will look at the current state of conversational interfaces, the challenges and benefits they bring, and where things are heading.

Published in: Software

Designing for conversation

  1. 1. CONVERSATIONAL INTERFACES DESIGNING FOR—AND BEYOND —BOTS AND AGENTS September 23 @nextconf https://www.flickr.com/photos/maximalideal/16319696881/
  2. 2. “Machines should work; People should think” an excerpt from The Jim Henson Company 1967 video "Paperwork Explosion”. from 
 1967…
  3. 3. "The dream of conversational interfaces is that they will finally allow humans to talk to computers in a way that puts the onus on the software—not the user—to figure out how to get things done.”
 
 — FastCompany, Conversational Interfaces, explained …to 2016
  4. 4. A conversational interface is a program that you primarily interact with through a back-and-forth dialog—using either voice or text—instead of a more traditional graphical UI. …at least, that’s how we think of them today. What is a conversational UI (CUI)?
  5. 5. The two most common types of CUI are currently (text-based) chatbots and (mostly voice-based) AI assistants. But there are also already, many variations on this theme. What kind of CUIs are there?
  6. 6. “The introduction of bots to Facebook and other platforms has been overhyped—and the bots themselves often aren't very good…[many] aren’t nearly as good as the native apps they were designed to replace.” — Facebook Messenger chief David Marcus Is this bot thing just hype? Right now…maybe. :) There *is* a lot of hype, and many bots are barely useful. But it’s important to consider why bots and AI assistant exist today, as this can help us understand where they go in the future.
  7. 7. WHY NOW? 5
  8. 8. Chatbots are not a new invention, and either are AI assistant. Clippy, 1997 The much hated Clippy was annoying, because it promised a smart, helpful assistant, yet wasn’t sophisticated enough to deliver on that promise. ELIZA, 1966 Developed by MIT, the most famous Eliza bot was DOCTOR, a simulation of a Rogerian psychotherapist. We’ve been here before…
  9. 9. The reason conversational interfaces may finally go mainstream, is that we’ve reached a combination or human and technological tipping points that have created new opportunities and expectations. •artificial intelligence •cloud computing + data •mobile everywhere •messaging everywhere •new behaviours/expectations •app fatigue
  10. 10. Artificial intelligence The past few years have seen big advances in artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies. These technologies enable key aspects of CUIs, such as automatic speech recognition (which converts voice to text) and natural language processing (which determines an input’s meaning). an example of language parsing and processing using Facebook’s open source wit.ai text input structured data output
  11. 11. Cloud computing + data The widespread availability of low-cost, “infinite storage” through cloud computing let to a big data explosion, and greatly reduced the cost of the intensive computation needed to run machine learning. (Many popular machine learning APIs are in fact now combined with a cloud offering). cloud-based machine learning and cognitive computing AWS cloud computing and cloud-based machine learning cloud-based machine learning
  12. 12. Mobile is everywhere Number of mobile internet device subscriptions worldwide (in billions) Mobile now reaches half the worldwide population, with the largest recent and projected gains in Asia and countries outside Europe and N. America. This demographic change is important as a mobile is often the first or only computer these new internet users will own.
  13. 13. For many mobile-first users, social and messaging apps are a primary window onto the internet. In fact—many even believe these apps are the internet. 1B 1B 800M 220M 275M WhatsApp Messenger WeChat (China) Line (Japan/APAC) kik (N America) And if you use mobile, you use messaging
  14. 14. Source: Why Southeast Asia is Leading the world’s most disruptive business models find a social vendor browse products inquire via messaging
 (often using another app) get payment details
 (digital or otherwise) ship anconfirm payment These messaging apps were in fact the first prototypes of ‘conversational commerce’— ad-hoc experiences assembled by users to meet a need.
  15. 15. “Most smartphone users download zero apps per month” - Quartz Fewer apps used per month of time spent on mobile is within five non-native apps Most download zero apps per month These trends are colliding with a growing app fatigue. Although time spent in apps is up, most people primarily use just a few apps—and many of these, are messaging apps. “Only five apps see heavy use” - TechCrunch 84%
  16. 16. AI ASSISTANTS VS CHATBOTS 10
  17. 17. AI assistants are services whose job is to serve as an enabler for different types of interactions.  Their primary means of input tends to be voice, but a user’s mobile is often used to output more complex data and responses. AI Assistants Apple’s Siri (can be voice + screen) Microsoft’s Cortana (can be voice + screen) Amazon Alexa (primarily voice) Ok Google (can be voice + screen)
  18. 18. Most assistants have a collection of core behaviours—such as fetching the time, setting an alarm, or sending an email—but most are also platforms. Core behaviours Just a few of ‘Ok Google’s’ core behaviours
  19. 19. With each new brand that creates a service for the platform, the assistant (and therefore its users) gain a new set of skills*. *Amazon (shown right) actually calls these skills. Other platform will have different names for them. Third party ‘skills’
  20. 20. Bots are small services that you ‘chat’ with through a text interface such as Facebook Messenger or SMS.  Chatbots (…or Bots) The Taco Bell tacobot for Slack
  21. 21. Some bots are standalone products, while others aim to provide a subset of tasks from a larger service. In this sense, bots are similar to the ‘skills’ found within assistants: single- domain micro-applications that help users complete a range of tasks related to an activity—such as booking a flight or finding an apartment. Trim is a personal finance bot with a very simple value proposition—help you save money by keeping an eye on where and how you spend. The Expedia bot enables users to search for hotels, and book them using expedia.com.
  22. 22. There are already quite a few hybrid approaches. Facebook M for example, is an AI assistant that uses text chat instead of voice. More importantly however, it’s one of a growing number of services that combine automation with ‘humans in the loop’ . Hybrid approaches “Hi! I’m M, your personal assistant in Messenger” Facebook M has human trainers who silently supervise, and take over complex tasks. Operator’s human assistants get to know their clients to better curate products to their tastes. Clara, a scheduling AI is supported by experienced Executive Assistants.
  23. 23. Hopefully not :-) There are many contexts where we will still need a more traditional graphical UI—either because the task is just too graphical in nature, or just because a bot doesn’t really add to the experience. Will everything become a bot or CUI?
  24. 24. These apps may however soon have bots of their own. AI-powered assistive interfaces are starting to appear within more complex apps that could benefit from smart, human-guided use of artificial intelligence. Embedded, assistive AIs While not (yet) conversational, the Google Sheets Explore panel acts as an assistant that proactively suggests alternate data renderings for your spreadsheet.
  25. 25. An AI whose job is to watch over us… •to proactively problem solve, •suggest more effective ways to complete a task, •provide a more ‘human’ interface through which to collaborate (with other people, or other bots). Crystal provides ‘personality profiles’ for contacts, and helps you better communicate with them.
  26. 26. …hence all the hype :) The promise of conversational apps appears huge: •more human and personal than a GUI •faster and simpler to use…if the context is right •low commitment, ephemeral…closer to the web than apps •mobile ‘native’…born of, and uniquely suited to mobile
 e.g. interaction models, contexts of use, use of sensors
  27. 27. …maybe one day a companion—rather than merely a tool
  28. 28. DESIGNING FOR CONVERSATION 20
  29. 29. In this section, we’ll look at common challenges, and design considerations when building bots and conversational services for AI assistant platforms.
  30. 30. We are in the “primordial soup” phase of bots and AI-augmented services. Existing platforms are immature, and prone to change. Disclaimer
  31. 31. 0. PLAN FOR DISCOVERY
  32. 32. Although bots are zero-install, (and ‘skills’ for assistant platforms are broadly similar) users still have to know the service exists before they can enable or interact with it. In this sense, we’ve somewhat replaced the app store discovery problem with a bot store discovery problem :( Platform-level discovery >4000 >30,000 >2700 ~1000 Telegram Messenger Amazon Alexa Slack
  33. 33. Thankfully, some platforms already offer tools that make it easy to share a bot or embed just-in-time discovery within other interactions. (This will hopefully become standard practice, and make bots more similar to web sites, than traditional apps). Contextual discovery Just in time discovery plugins Facebook web plugins enable users to initiate a chat conversation, or pass information to Messenger for onwards interaction. Share a bot Share Telegram and Facebook Messenger bots using a hyperlink*. *A URL opens in any browser, but Messenger and Telegram bots only function within those apps. A shame that there isn’t further interoperability. https://telegram.me/<bot username> m.me/<bot username>
  34. 34. https://www.flickr.com/photos/marketingfacts/6323249188/ Just in time discovery isn’t limited to digital platforms. A key enabler, within WeChat is QR codes—which are often used to initiate or complete an offline-to- online (O2O) interaction. kik, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat offer similar 2D codes, which users can scan to follow a brand, or initiate a conversation. ...in Korea, grocery stores are embedded on Subway platforms where users scan QR codes to buy items that are delivered just-in-time for dinner
  35. 35. CASE STUDY: 
 CONTEXTUAL DISCOVERY
  36. 36. KLM embeds Messenger plugins at various stages: • ticket purchase, • check-in • boarding pass retrieval Users who opt-in, then receive their confirmation, check-in notice, boarding pass and flight status updates via Messenger.
  37. 37. 1. KEEP IT SIMPLE 30
  38. 38. Today (and for the foreseeable future) bots and AI assistants will remain pretty simple. Today’s services are good at answering simple questions, and are best suited to completing simple, repetitive tasks. If your bot promises more than this, it will likely disappoint, and this is as much due to human factors as technology constraints.
  39. 39. CUI proponents often compare them to gesture and touch based interfaces. Interfaces that ‘natural’— because most people already know how to scroll, swipe, speak or type. ‘Natural’ UI… https://www.flickr.com/photos/hams-caserotti/6160875175/
  40. 40. ‘Natural’ but not automatically intuitive While they may at first glance seem intuitive, ‘natural’ interaction models often share similar challenges. If for example, a gesture is completely new, it will have to be taught, and may be hard to discover on its own. Dash by Bragi “a discrete personal assistant right in your ear” Gesture: activate touch lock Gesture: deactivate touch lock
  41. 41. Similarly, if you don’t know what a bot or AI assistant can do, or how to properly ask, you can waste a lot of time guessing. The simpler the bot, the easier it will be for users to quickly, build a conceptual model of what it can do. This is particularly critical for voice-only services as there’s no screen to refer to.
  42. 42. The majority of bots are also still powered by rules (not that different from the decision trees we’ve used for years in telephone systems).
  43. 43. And although chats look like a conversation, the bot is simply ‘slot- filling’—asking the necessary questions to formulate a query with set parameters. It can only understand certain questions, and respond with specific, pre-chosen commands. If a user say the wrong thing, it won’t know what she mean.
  44. 44. Bots that use elements of machine learning may go a step further, as they can begin to understand language*. Users can therefore be less specific with their commands, and the system can generate its own responses—gradually expanding its vocabulary over time. Next up…machine learning Image: Isazi consulting*to a degree, you can’t yet expect full fluency from any of these systems
  45. 45. The most useful and successful bots (even fairly complex ones) have one job. They also solve real, demonstrable problems (and ideally, something for which a much better alternative doesn’t already exist). Give the bot one job This extremely simple bot identifies images.
  46. 46. The problem the bot solves should be easy to convey, simple to understand, and (hopefully) include steps that users may be able to guess on their own. Bots that leverage mobile (camera, sensors, notifications etc.) to simplify tasks, will often be particularly useful. Example: 
 Energy company account bot
 • receive monthly bills • check balance • get monthly reminders to submit a meter reading • snap a photo of the meter to send your reading (or type it in)
  47. 47. 2. SET EXPECTATIONS 40
  48. 48. Use any means available to help users quickly understand what they can do. Hello! Monday, 4:09 pm Hello… Monday, 4:09 pm Hello…? Monday, 4:12 pm Hello…? Monday, 4:15 pm Hello…? Monday, 4:16 pm
  49. 49. Most bots are zero-install, but users still see a bit of information before they begin a chat. Facebook Messenger for example, provides an introductory screen where you can set basic assumptions:
 • how fast does the bot respond? • what does the bot do? • what can you ask? • what personal data will it see? Onboarding
  50. 50. It’s also good practice to welcome users with a few prompts describing the most likely starting point, and what information the bot will need to complete a that request. I might get confused This is my job Start like this Here are terms I understand and can filter by Can I interest you in this useful thing?
  51. 51. The more constrained or well understood the task—for example booking a train ticket—the more likely users will make correct assumptions of their own. This is less likely if your bot does something new or bespoke to your service. A known/fixed task? Trim, the personal finance bot “can show you a few ways to save money”. Because ‘saving money’ isn’t binary…it must then explain what this means.
  52. 52. Platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Slack also enable you to include custom buttons and keyboards (in Telegram only) that allow for faster, and more accurate input. Facebook quick reply buttons Telegram custom keyboard
  53. 53. CASE STUDY: 
 RESTRICTING TASKS AT PLATFORM-LEVEL 15
  54. 54. Apple has restricting third-party apps within Siri to six domains: ride booking, messaging, photo and video, payments, VoIP and workouts. This helps set expectations, as users are (a bit) less likely to ask Siri for something outside these categories. Users also enjoy better UX as Apple can gradually release, and optimize vocabularies for each domain. Third-party apps in Siri
  55. 55. 3. DO INVOLVE HUMANS :) 55
  56. 56. Bots shouldn’t attempt to replace what is best left to a traditional graphical UI. (…and if they do, they maybe shouldn’t use Poncho the weather bot as role model) vs. glanceable, easy to understand despite high information density
  57. 57. They also shouldn’t attempt to replace things that humans are really good at… Computers are really good at… • data retrieval, sorting, filtering • complex maths, • parsing vast datasets • doing this over and over (they won’t get bored or frustrated) Computers are getting better at… • analyzing human sentiment • understanding intent outside set domains or vocabularies • determining content and context of images, video etc. Computers are incapable of… • emotional intelligence • empathy • human reasoning • pragmatism • (un-scripted) persuasion • actual conversation! (…a partial list in all cases)
  58. 58. There are also very basic aspects of ‘real’ human conversation that computers still struggle with. This includes, maintaining the scope of a conversation, chaining conversations together, and differentiating a new question, from a follow-on question. Source: @jonesabi This can be particularly aggravating with text chat, as there’s a visual record of the conversation. It’s therefore easy for users to assume the bot ‘knows’ everything that’s been said.
  59. 59. In the case of Facebook M and personal assistants like x.ai, providing human assistance in tandem with automation may be purely tactical. "M is a human-trained system: Human operators evaluate the AI's suggested responses, and then they produce responses while the AI observes and learns from them.”
 
 — Facebook AI Research Other reasons to involve humans Take over complex tasks that can’t be automated • “plan a birthday party” Offer services that can’t yet be automated • APIs often don’t yet exist for one AI or service to interface with another Generate usage data • clarify key use cases to inform the product roadmap • to train the AI
  60. 60. CASE STUDY: 
 BUILT-IN HUMAN ROUTING BASED ON CONTEXT 15
  61. 61. Edward’s design was informed by a deep understanding of typical guest queries. The goal was to automate the most common and routine queries, to free up front desk staff for face to face interactions. what cuisine does your restaurant serve? Tuesday, 8:30 pm please send me some ice Tuesday, 8:00 pm please don’t clean my room today Tuesday, 7:45 am what time do I need to check out? Wednesday, 7:00 am can you send me more towels? Tuesday, 7:12 am I’d like a paper delivered to my room Monday, 6:00 pm Hi…i’m Edward, Radisson Blu Edwardian’s virtual host Monday, 4:09 pm “We were intrigued to find out how many different questions a guest can have during a stay: 153 to be precise” — Tobias Goebel, Aspect software Edward, the virtual host
  62. 62. Edward’s handles routine questions, and automatically routes more complex requests to appropriate staff. Source: Aspect software Universal template for self-service
  63. 63. 4. GIVE USERS AN ESCAPE HATCH
  64. 64. Despite your best efforts, users will get stuck, or need help that’s beyond the bot’s capabilities. Always build in easy and intuitive ways for users to quit a task, start over, or speak to a person*. *even if the response is not immediate Source: @superwuster
  65. 65. Shown when you first open the bot. Nice! But you may forget it’s there. I tried this, to see what would happen, and was pleasantly surprised. Nice! From Bot to human… Users see this when they directly message customer service out of hours. From human to bot… A few nice examples…
  66. 66. 5. CONSIDER PERSONALITY AND PERSONA 60
  67. 67. “Pretending that bots are humans is impersonal. If customers are in conversation with an entity that they think is a person, but then realise through inevitable technical limitations that it is in fact a bot, how do you imagine they will feel? And how could that feeling ever be good for business?” — Paul Adams, Bots vs. humans While it’s good practice to enable users to switch from human to bot—obfuscating this process may not be in your best interest.
  68. 68. Source: @jonesa This is down to trust, but also our tendency to anthropomorphize; to attribute human characteristics to animals, inanimate objects, or natural phenomena.
  69. 69. “[iRobot] regularly received calls asking for help to fix “Rosie” or “Seamus” or “Floorence”. Customers expressed concern when iRobot told them to mail in their Roomba, and receive a new one in return— as they might with another small appliance. …They didn’t want a new vacuum…they wanted “Rosie” to be fixed—or more to the point, healed.” — Paul Colin Angle, CEO if iRobot Anthropomorphism isn’t completely understood, but can occur even if the object has no recognizable human form.
  70. 70. …it can even occur when a ‘thing’ has no physical form at all.
  71. 71. As people are likely to attribute human qualities to your bot regardless, you should consider what kind of personality you’d like it have. “Bots are personas, whether or not it’s intended. Every participant will project an identity onto the bot, its gender and personality — whether or not it has been created intentionally by the design team.” — Chatbots ultimate prototyping tool, IDEO
  72. 72. Personality can be tricky to get right. A common problem is to misjudge how much personality may be too much—and in what context. Jokes may be OK for this weather bot, but would be exasperating if this were a airline bot with a flight delay message.
  73. 73. Persona mismatch?
 Facebook is trying to seem friendly, but if the context is wrong, it just feels weird (Zach is Scott’s son). “…we had to outlaw Howdy’s bots from asking rhetorical questions ‘because people expect to respond to them, even though the bot was just being polite’.” — FastCompany, Designing chatbot personalities Cultural and social norms Politeness can be deeply cultural, and consumers is certain markets may feel particularly compelled to respond. Culture, social norms, and the user’s personal context are also a factor.
  74. 74. People often experiment with a bot (either to understand what it can do, or just for fun). Anticipating these questions is a nice way to develop the bot’s personality in a more neutral context (i.e. users aren’t actively trying to ‘get things done’…so may be more open to chit chat). Google Assistant, within Allo
  75. 75. 6. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
 (I.E. HUMANS)
  76. 76. Communicating with services on a private device, and in a more personal context, also changes our expectations. Any brand or organization entering this space should consider whether this may create entirely new, and unexpected interactions. Source: Washington Post (March 2016) Siri’s response to ‘I was raped’… “I don’t know what that means. If you like, I can search the Web for ‘I was raped.’” Samsung S Voice: ‘I am depressed’… “Maybe it’s time for you to take a break and get a change of scenery.”
  77. 77. Society is still coming to terms with what this means, and where the responsibility may lie in these complex, and very human scenarios. A complicating factor is that, some software is no longer taught what to say—it simply decides on its own*. *based on input from millions of users with varying motivations
  78. 78. 7. GROUP DISCUSSION
  79. 79. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinou/453593446 thank you many thanks to the amazing photographers on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5 @yiibu hello@yiibu.com contact us at Presentation deck available @
 http://www.slideshare.net/yiibu

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