Chat bots are not likely to be used in the long run
The startup world is overwhelmed for Chat bots. Chat bots for ordering, Chat bots for ecommerce, Chat bots for food ordering, chat bots for recharge etc., but have you realized how many customers really come back to chat bots? Less than 10% right? Chat-bots are simply replacement of BPO, as in BPO you call and then the customer care helps you (doing search on website /resources), similarly in Chat Bots you text and get help through available APIs or web search, isn't the similar thing? Shutting down of Helpchat is one of the stories where consumers got ready to chat and do things.
People initially liked the concept of BPO but got irritated with it after a while, so now chat bots give solutions based on the questions you type. However, consumers are now getting tired of typing and this is the reason even Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Google, Apple, Microsoft have introduced voice calling facility to a great extent. Also, Google launched 'Google OK', Apple launched ' Siri' and Windows /Microsoft launched 'Cortana' to give a voice-based experience than typing texts for search or any information. No consumer wants to download app or open applications, they are looking for custom solutions without downloading apps or opening apps. A recent study indicates a decline in app downloads 20% YoY. So it is sure that the app era has ended. Chat bots are fine right now but not in the distant future as chat bots are a feature for any business to simplify the process but may not be the main business.
Apple recently announced it would open Siri APIs for third party developers. Google OK already has APIs for third party developers. Facebook is already working in same direction as well. Consumers want simple things not complex ones, they want a one click solution that are possible as intelligent surfaces or say as conversation interfaces in the future and that is why chat bots will end up in next 3-5 years. The machine has started to communicate with human these days as some companies who are working in the same direction are Google, Microsoft, Apple, Baidu and others like Deepmind, Mindmeld, Magicleap and more. The future is not apps or chat bots but a system-level technology that will connect all the dots of human life in the future.
Well, the world has yet to evolve for technology to be used on a massive scale and as predicted by some researchers, it will take the next decade to get hands on artificial intelligence in human life, so let's wait and watch where the world is heading.