Enter the message bots. As 2016 dawns, there’s a sense in Silicon Valley that the decades-old fantasy of a true digital assistant is due to roar back into the mainstream. If the trend in past years has been assistants powered by voice – Siri, Alexa, Cortana – in 2016 the focus is shifting to text. And if the bots come, as industry insiders are betting they will, there will be casualties: with artificial intelligence doing the searching for us, Google may see fewer queries. Our AI-powered assistants will manage more and more of our digital activities, eventually diminishing the importance of individual, siloed apps, and the app stores that sell them. Many websites could come to feel as outdated as GeoCities pages – and some companies might ditch them entirely. Nearly all of the information they provide can be fed into a bot and delivered via messaging apps.
This seems a bit… Overblown. Bots are going to revolutionise a lot over the coming decades, but messaging bots replacing the point and click interface we’ve been using ever since Xerox invented it?
Much like the death of the PC or Apple, the end of our current HUI metaphor has been predicted more times than I can remember – I don’t see how this one is any different.