Chatbots are everywhere online, helping with things like customer service and being virtual assistants on websites and apps. These AI-powered bots have come a long way in terms of performance, but an important question lingers: Do people actually want to interact with chatbots, no matter how well they perform?
While preparing for my presentation A Bot Named Lex for the Voice & AI Conference, I wanted to hear other viewpoints on chatbots and artificial intelligence from other professionals in the industry. I came across the Big Technology Podcast episode “Meta’s New AI Model, AppleGPT’s Potential, Is ChatGPT Getting Dumber — With Aaron Levie“
One of the questions that was discussed between the host Alex Kantrowitz and Box CEO Aaron Levie was if people actually want to interact with chatbots – no matter how well they perform. It’s a good question and will be one of the points that I discuss in my session at Voice & AI in Washington, DC on Thursday, September 7th 2023.
The GUI Preference
Most people still prefer using graphical user interfaces (GUI) when interacting with websites and apps. GUIs provide users with visual cues, clear navigation paths, and a tangible sense of control. When people visit a website, they typically expect a familiar layout. This includes menus, buttons, and links that assist them in easily finding what they are looking for.
Even if Chatbots Get Better…
Despite significant advancements in chatbot technology, including natural language processing (NLP) capabilities and improved conversational skills, the preference for GUI remains strong. Users have grown accustomed to the reliability and convenience of GUI-based interactions. So, what could change this dynamic?
Lex Response Cards: A GUI for Chatbots
Lex Response Cards cards are not new to the platform. They were introduced with Lex V1 and are still available for Lex V2. Lex cards provides a user interface element that creates a GUI-like experience within a chatbot interaction.
Lex cards offer a structured format with predefined options or actions presented as cards or buttons. This approach combines the benefits of both chatbots and GUIs, aiming to bridge the gap between user preferences and AI capabilities. Lex cards assist users in promptly identifying input options. This eliminates the need to wait for a prompt or struggle to comprehend the next steps.
Advantages of Lex Cards
1. Clarity: Lex cards provide a clear and organized way to present choices or information, reducing the potential for misunderstandings or miscommunication often associated with free-text chatbot interactions.
2. Efficiency: Users can quickly select options from Lex cards, streamlining the decision-making process and saving time compared to typing out responses.
3. User Empowerment: Lex cards give users a sense of control by presenting them with choices, making them feel more involved in the interaction.
4. Consistency: Lex cards ensure that the chatbot delivers a consistent user experience, reducing the likelihood of missteps or unexpected responses.
The Future of Chatbot Interaction
While GUI-based interactions are still the preferred mode for many users, the development and integration of technologies like Lex cards offer a promising middle ground. As chatbots continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, finding innovative ways to enhance their user experience is essential.
In the end, the success of chatbots depends on their ability to align with user preferences and provide genuine value. As technologies advance and user expectations evolve, it’s likely that chatbots will continue to find their place in our digital interactions, but the path forward may be one where chatbots and GUIs complement each other, offering users the best of both worlds.
Tasha Penwell is an AWS and Lens Studio Educator, conference presenter, and author. She lives in Ohio with her husband and enjoys photography, exploring new technologies and hosting computer science workshops at high schools. She founded Bytes and Bits when she realized that the traditional education model was creating barriers for the underserved and rural population.