According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence 2021, chatbot technology is at its lowest point.
Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. In this latest edition of the AI hype cycle, chabots are in the Trough of Disillusionment phase.
Technologies are in this phase when interest on them wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail.
All this sounds bad for chatbots. Really bad. But, in fact, I believe is the complete opposite. I think reaching this point is the best that could happen for chatbots. I’ve seen other technologies go through this phase and come out better.
Better doesn’t mean more popular. Better doesn’t mean they end up selling more than when they were at their peak. Better means that:
- We get rid of the smoke sellers and shallow companies that were just trying to quickly get some money out of early customers while the chatbot trend was on
- We understand much better what chatbots are good for. And what they are not good for. And can target better such scenarios
- We have less pressure (as the market deflates) which gives us the time to improve the actual chatbot technology instead of just selling immature products
- We can rely on the (fewer) chatbot agencies as those that survived were the most solid ones. Or you could start your own now that there is less competition and you’ll know better what are the real opportunities and ideal market fit for chatbot technologies.
The ideal situation of the chatbot technology, of any technology, is not to live in the Peak of Inflated Expectations but to learn about itself, about its market, about its players while going all the way down through the Trough of Disillusionment until we reach the Plateau of Productivity, where mainstream adoption takes off, and the criteria for assessing provider viability and market applicability and relevance are more clearly defined.
This is not an easy process, but, definitely, a necessary one. We are really excited to go through this journey and help you all to make better chatbots faster.