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Chatbots werden immer besser © Yvonne Scheller

Social Media Week - chatbots improving constantly

Dr. Carsten Brosda opens Social Media Week Hamburg in Chamber of Commerce's Innovation Campus - line-up features 150 events

Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator of Culture, marked his first month in office by opening Monday (February 27th) the 6th Social Media Week Hamburg (SMWHH) in the Chamber of Commerce’s InnovationsCampus. Hamburg News attended the opening.

Unclear future

Brosda stressed the importance of the digital week, which is being held simultaneously in Hamburg, Jakarta, Lagos and New York, saying the issues dealt with during the 150 free events, “effect us all as a society”. The growing number of social media users on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram and the technological advances allow people to share with a small circle of people and with a global public, if they wish. He added: “Today, we cannot even imagine what has yet to come in terms of quantity and quality.” Three areas should be of particular interest, he added.

Realistic view of required rules

Individualised news may lead to blind spots or knowledge gaps as algorithms limit the choice of issues to the user’s preferred topics. Rapidly spreading information on the internet must be controlled and improved. The question of whether a user’s counterpart on the web is a person must be answered. “And if the counterpart is not a person, is that bad?” asked Brosda, adding, “We should focus not only on the tough consequences of such technical possibilities, but also view realistically where certain framework conditions must be set up.”

Chatbot – buzzword of an era

Robert Weber, founder of knowhere GmbH, which in 2016 focused on developing chatbots, echoed Brosda’s views. In his keynote “Chatbot – fashion fad or must have for companies?”, Weber pointed to the forecasts: “In 2017, we will send around 28.2 trillion messages via messaging apps.” In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg said outside companies would be able to use chatbots on Facebook’s Messenger app to contact users and triggering the current hype. Chatbots have become the buzzword of an era. Now, more and more firms are actually relying on bots and chats to contact customers directly.

Chatbots soon part of everyday life

The poncho weather bot, NDR’s Novi news bot, eBay’s ShopBot or chad that gives people a chance to test-drive Opel’s vehicles are examples of successful bots, according to Weber. He added: “Companies that are gaining experiences with chatbots today are building up valuable know-how in conversational design.” Such knowledge is crucial in view of rapid developments in artificial intelligence. Weber noted: “Chatbots are improving all the time and understand intention and context.” This makes them even more attractive. It is crucial to deal with this material as chatbots are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives.

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