By Brent Leary
When I heard Dharmesh Shah — cofounder of HubSpot and one of the most influential voices in marketing — say chatbots are the most significant technologies in decades during his keynote at the Inbound Conference, I immediately asked the person next to me if I heard that right. I then caught up with Shah and asked him myself. Below is why he feels this way, and why you should pay attention to what he says.
How big are chatbots?
Dharmesh Shah: Chatbots are the manifestation, but the underlying trend that’s the biggest thing we’ve seen in two decades is conversational interfaces. That’s what a chatbot essentially is. It’s allowing you to get around the software by using either text or voice. And the reason I think that’s such a big deal is that, with all due respect to the iPhone and other things that have happened the last couple of decades, when iPhone came out we already had the Web. We had some apps that knew that cameras on phones had sensors. Yes, it was touch and swipe instead of click. But those are only slightly different interaction metaphors.
But now with the conversational user interfaces people can express the things they want in direct terms. They don’t have to translate it from the words that are in their head. They just have to say the words that are in their head and that’s enough…