"Soon Enough" : how smart are chat bots?

"Soon Enough" : how smart are chat bots?

When we look at our daily woken hours spent we'll see that for a lot of it, we are on our phones (on average up to 4 hours). Mobile is truly our first screen. So what do we do on that device? The trend is spending time in messaging environments such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Previously we have been writing about chat interfaces and bots in our "Soon enough" series. As this is a topic growing in interest and attention, we like to see what happens when messaging bots are deployed in mobile apps. Being Dutch (for the most part), it is very unfortunate that we're NOT taking part in this UEFA European Championship. Bots bring us in the game nevertheless. By chatting to the bot Copa90 you can now closely follow the tournament and play with technology. Copa90 uses the Facebook Messaging app as one of its distribution methods to reach out to its fans. What makes it additionally interesting is that through the information on Facebook they make 'accessing key information and news around the Euro 2016 as seamless as possible'. And all that without having bought any legal rights to broadcasting big sports events.

By starting your conversation with 'Hi', the Copa90 chat bot suggests that you can tune into; the latest news, the current scores, and to view summaries. What it basically does is offering, and guiding you through its content, which is the same as on the Copa90 website. Sometimes, if you ask something a bit more specific, it apologizes for not (yet) having that content ready for you.

It seems that this chat bot isn't that smart (yet), Copa90 simply performs the task of keeping you up with all the Euro 2016 action. So when asking the bot 'When is the Netherlands playing', it gives me 4 options; who is playing?, some countries' fan news, and 'home'... Well, yes, we are home, but that's not what is meant here. I would have liked him to tell me: "Sorry, you didn't make it through the qualifications. Here's one option: Buy a football and play your own game!" Painful, but true. Let's see how smart they will get.