I had a chance to speak to Nathan about one of Virtual Spirits most successful bots- the Cinema Bot. Nathan shows us how Chatbots can bring enormous value to businesses today and will share with us which industries will be most impacted by the Bot revolution
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your journey so far with Chatbots?
My name is Nathan Bajrach; I was born in Antwerp Belgium in 1975. Growing up really in the mid 80s the talk of the day was the personal computer. It was the height of the PC wars while at the same time there was not always a lot you could do with them. So I grew up learning to program my own games and early applications. In early 2000 I already felt strongly that we can do more with the ever growing power inside computers and phones. A few years later AI & chatbots got my attention and in 2008 I founded VirtualSpirits to create the best possible chatbots for businesses. We have since grown to power over 12,000 businesses worldwide and over 50 Million conversations so far. Right now I am especially excited to see the growth of the community around chatbots with enthusiastic individuals and businesses from all over the world. And with it some particularly exciting new technological developments.
Photo taken at Chatbot Summit during Nathans Keynote "5 lessons your Business should Learn from Successful Chatbots- Real Life Insights from the Cinema Chatbot" 01.31.18
Photo by Liat Mandel
What fascinates you about Chatbots and what is missing for them to become mainstream?
Chatbots are the new layer in the ever evolving technology and tools at our disposal. Our society relies so heavily on services that conversational software and chatbots will have to be embedded everywhere for it to evolve. Millions of people are talking with them every day. In order to reach the next level in adoption of chatbots, I believe we need smarter chatbots that can be easily deployed as plug & play and at the same time enable user to easily do more than what they can do today with websites, apps, and existing support services. In order to achieve this I am betting on machines that build machines. This has been the focus of our developments in the past 2 years.
What are your top predictions for Chatbots for 2018? 3 years ahead?
The Chabot industry is moving rapidly and every year seems like dog years (7). Chatbots in the next few years will become essential to our daily lives just like the internet, websites, and apps. People will learn that they can do simple things and complex things more easily using chatbots than with any other means. It is clear that the chatbot will be judged by what it can do for people and will be expected to be on all platforms, websites, IM channels.
This will in turn create a new set of applications that are not existing. I'm also thinking of new content that will be developed for conversational commerce and chatbots which is not available in other forms today. Finally it is clear that a new range of skills and jobs will appear such as chatbot optimization experts and chatbot content writers. We employ already many for our own company needs.
How did you come to be a speaker at Chatbot Summit? What are you going to talk about?
Our chatbot experts and I are happy to join meetups and summits all over the world, meeting with fellow enthusiasts, and talking about our chatbots. When Chatbot Summit reached out and invited us to speak at the summit in Tel Aviv we were excited about this opportunity.
My talk is going to be a bit different, we all hear about the future of chatbots and how chatbot will transform businesses; I would like to show what we've learned about chatbots that are successful in businesses today. We have learned through our customes of the various problems and challenges that different industries are facing. We have over time developed great chatbots that can tackle these challenges to bring enormous value to businesses today. I would like to demonstrate some of it during my talk using a very successful chatbot we have for cinema theaters – it is insightful to see because we all have our own experience of choosing what movies we want to watch and going to the movies.
What are you most looking forward to about Chatbot Summit?
The party at the end!
But aside from that, I'm looking forward meeting people that are excited about chatbots as much as I am, and helping businesses get on the right path to getting a successful chatbot that will change their lives. I invite people to come and talk with me and with VirtualSpirits team to understand what chatbots can do for them today and what we believe is the right way to do it.
Which industries do you believe will be impacted most by the Bot revolution?
I believe that all industries will adopt chatbots. From the point of view of people, the impact will be everywhere I believe; in daily life services, shopping, online, etc. From the point of view of businesses I believe that all will adopt chatbots but the most profound impact on the way of doing business will be in B2C and call centers operations.