Update: We have a new list of the Best Chatbot Apps, updated for 2019 that’s bigger and better. You can read it here.
It wasn’t very long ago that technologists heralded that Chatbots would rid the world of Applications entirely. With the rise of conversational marketing and automation over the established dominance of Social Media, it’d seem like the smart money was moving away from the un-interactive application market.
Fortunately, some much smarter people decided that they could achieve a lot more by using the best of both worlds. By combining the convenience of applications and the personalization of chatbots, they’ve heralded a new age of technological development.
Chatbots Apps are divided into two major categories, Goal-Oriented (G-O) and Purpose-Oriented (P-O).
Goal Oriented Chatbots are open-ended, they’re there for a conversation. They’ll talk to you till you want to and have no ulterior motives behind their design.
Purpose-Oriented Chatbots serve as a means to an end, they exist to make already existing processes easier or better performed.
Today, these chatbot apps can develop and decipher patterns in human conversation previously unknown to their makers, all while servicing users in a superhuman like fashion.
Below, we discuss some of the Best Chatbot Apps powered by Artificial Intelligence.
The first app under the Purpose-Oriented ambit takes us from mental welfare, to physical well-being. The one thing Lark doesn’t lack for is critical acclaim. From Google calling it “the best AI of 2016”, to being named one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the World” by Business Insider, to Fortis calling it the “Most Innovative Digital Health Product of the Year”, Lark has some good credentials to its name.
Lark leverages its Artificial Intelligence capabilities to help its user monitor and manage some of the of the most fiscally crushing chronic diseases. Lark was founded by Julia Hu and Jeff Zira. Through its lifestyle coaching, prevention program and disease management, Lark provides its members with one-to-one support from their Personal Coach.
A recent peer-reviewed study published in JMIR has demonstrated that Lark’s A.I. Coaches are as effective as in-person CDC-Recognized Diabetes Prevention Programs. – Division of Public Health, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
Lark has over 1 million ‘patients’ who use its Coach, which follows a program created by professors from Stanford, Harvard and even features an Olympic Coach. Lark costs less than a dollar a day, or for $40 it’ll provide you with a 12-week personalized weight loss program. Lark sends its members devices like wireless weight scales, a blood pressure monitors or FitBits depending on which program they enlist in.
Starting off the list for the Goal Oriented Chatbots, is Mitsuku. To explain to you how “real” Mitsuku is, here is an excerpt from a piece in the Wall Street Journal written by in-house tech reporter, Christopher Mims.
Consider what the creator of an award-winning, Web-accessible chat bot named Mitsuku told an interviewer in 2013, “What keeps me going is when I get emails or comments in the chat-logs from people telling me how Mitsuku has helped them with a situation whether it was dating advice, being bullied at school, coping with illness or even advice about job interviews. I also get many elderly people who talk to her for companionship.”
Any advertiser who doesn’t sit bolt upright after reading that doesn’t understand the dark art of manipulation on which their craft depends.
Mitsuku was created by Steve Worswick and is the recipient of the legendary Loebner prize, named after Hugh Loebner. Mitsuku won the prize, given to the most human-like chatbot, three times. She’s even been featured in a number of other news outlets. One such outlet, Fast Company described Mitsuku as “quite impressive” and declared her the victor over Siri in a chatbot smackdown.
You can talk to Mitsuku on Messenger, Kik, Telegram amongst a range of applications. As far as the origin of Chatbot Apps go, Mitsuku is the Godmother.
Wysa is another Goal Oriented chatbot and is one of the cuter ones around (it calls itself your happiness buddy), but it subtly serves a distinctive, more wholesome purpose.
Wysa is an AI-based ‘emotionally intelligent’ bot, a virtual coach which responds to the emotions you express and uses evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques (CBT), DBT, meditation, breathing, yoga, motivational interviewing and micro-actions to help you build mental resilience skills and feel better.
use developments in NLU (natural language understanding) and AI to help users with mental health problems.
Wysa is as easy as texting a friend and unlike regular therapy, chatbots are convenient, easy to use and truly anonymous. And since Chatbots are programmed to mimic human conversation and decision-making, the can provide give advice, offer self-help guidance and companionship.
For self-evident reasons, chatbot therapists can’t claim to replace traditional therapy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Woebot, another chatbot therapist even had a Harvard peer-reviewed study about Chatbot Therapists based on WoeBot, which you can read here.
Another Purpose-Oriented chatbot, Mona is effectively your personal shopping lackey.
Mona’s USP comes from one of the greatest flaws in the application universe; that they’re static in nature. Everything is a step by step process. Chatbot-integrated-apps however, provide users with the ability to leverage dynamic product discovery.
Take, for example, an instance where I’m searching for some pink running shoes. If I had to search for it on Amazon, I’d have to go through the following steps.
- Shop by Category
- Men’s fashion
- Sports Shoes
- Running Shoes
- Filter by Color – Pink
- Scroll and figure out what I like.
Alternatively, using a chatbot like Mona, I could just type “pink running shoes” and the bot can execute it for me in a matter of seconds, as opposed to the tedious process of filling out filters.
So what is Mona?
Mona is an Artificial Intelligence powered mobile shopping assistant that will give you that immersive in-store, expert assistance. Founded by ex-Amazon employee Orkun Atik, Mona works with 300+ retailers to bring you products and discounts. Once you buy the product you love, Mona extensively searches amongst all their retail partners to find you the best possible price or promotion. With time Mona also begins to learn your shopping style, your favorite brands, and your best-suited price range.
As opposed to a simple scrolling mechanism where the user has to go through hundreds of unnecessary results, Mona can take a user directly to what they’re searching for, without the static noise of pointless substitutes.
Poncho is probably our personal favorite here at Verloop.
The weather is probably the most mundane, yet pertinent part of most of our lives. Enter a talking cartoon cat animatronic to change those perceptions. Armed with an array of GIFs, memes, and bad jokes, Poncho excels at telling its users the weather in the most entertaining ways possible.
“We wanted it to feel like you were friends with the weatherman, who happened to send you a personalized text each day with the right information,” said Sam Mandel, CEO at Poncho.
Poncho’s roots are quite humble, the app existed as a daily text and email service for almost three years before launching its first app. Today, it’s on iOS, Android and Messenger. As it turns out, people really like interacting with silly cartoon cats.
Poncho even has an inbuilt alarm function, that wakes you up to a weather forecast, delivered to you through a chat interface filled with spunk. To keep up these pop culture references, ten writers come together every week in a sitcom-writer-room-esque setting to develop the forecast copy to make it as entertaining as possible.
Poncho is a purpose oriented chatbot, but unlike the others on the list, Poncho doesn’t make money from its activities. This opens an entire world of personalized advertisment opportunities to companies interested in pushing their products.
Poncho even partnered with General Electric to include news about energy conservation and clean energy production based on the weather. For example, on a super windy day, Poncho might include the fact that today’s wind (when put through GE’s wind turbines) could produce enough power to light up the Grammys. For example, particularly rainy days, Poncho could encourage users to stay in and order lunch.
Conversational Marketing and Support is undoubtedly the future at large, regardless of which industry you operate in. If you’d like to build a marketing and sales automation bot as smart and powerful as the ones listed above, signup for Verloop by clicking – Signup for Verloop.