Simply put, chatbots are AI for the masses. They are the future of consumer engagement and will be built to leverage the power of connected consumer to the fullest.

As technology advances, chatbots will be able to seek, synthesize and communicate in natural language and engage in dialogue the way humans do to collaborate with us on complex projects.

Chatbots are manual when parsing intent across a range of tasks. Verticalized, focused use cases are automated and effective. The future is when AI crosses NLP at the OS level.

People realize chatbots are not artificial intelligence’s cash cow, but a specific type of UI, and to use them successfully we must identify their strengths and weaknesses compared to humans.

In the next couple of quarters bot creators will seek to find their editorial, conversational voice. Many are new to this medium and dropping into a 1×1 conversational format is new territory for most

Natural Language Understanding platforms will continue to improve. This will broaden the base of innovation in the chatbot space. Expect an increase in both the supply and usability of chatbots.

Fortune 1000 b-2-c companies will employ speaking artificial characters by 2017, in order to automate their conversations with consumers in an interactive spoken dialogue. These bots will become the “Brand Agents” 24/7.

It’s the start of the bell adoption curve – a number of ‘CAAS’ (Chatbot as a Service) providers will emerge and take up from brands will be quick. Eventually, chatbots will eat customer service the same way driverless cars will eat transport.

Changes in web search queries reveal an increase in security concerns about popular chatbot platforms such as Telegram. Expect growing interest in self hosted open-source enterprise solutions such as Zulip.

I predict we’ll see more Chatbots adopted by brands, but brands won’t spend much time creating them to be functional. (Think Siri’s beatboxing.)

Brands can benefit from chatbots and better serve their customers in real-time. However, they should test them and make sure the benefit of improved customer service outweighs any shortcomings of the technology.

In the coming months Chatbots may speak rather than type – effectively Siri or Cortana on steroids, where they remember everything you need them to, similar to a personal concierge.

Chatbots will remain something undergoing development in the next six months but will grow to replacing 50% of all consumer/retailer conversations in the next 3 to 5 years.

Machine learning is iteratively making bots better at anticipating needs, and user interfaces more conversational. Expect bots to carry on natural language conversations, and know users’ desires before they do.

The user interface of web applications and mobile apps will disappear and become omnipresent across messaging channels. Chatbots are just the first step to that fundamental shift.

Chatbots will be going fully multi-platform. There is still lots of uncovered ground on platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, etc.

The biggest changes will be its ubiquity across customer service and sales. Chatbots change how businesses provide tech support and how marketers acquire leads and close on their prospects.