Chatbot Fever (Part 2): Big Players, Entrepreneurs, and Investors

AsiaIndustrial NetNews: “Under the reward, there must be brave men”, but in the craze of Chatbots, it is not only brave men. The respective camps formed by the three roles of big players, entrepreneurs and investors have ignited the war at sea.

except chatrobotIn addition to the large companies listed in the previous article, the foreign media VetureBeat also produced a detailed Bots map:

Chatbot Fever (Part 2): Big Players, Entrepreneurs, and Investors

No one would have imagined that in just a few short years, Chatbots, which they thought was still in the early stage of development, had a clear territory and a sea of ​​red. At the time of publication of this graph, VetureBeat counted more than 170 companies around the world, burning more than $4 billion in capital.

At a more specific application level, Lei believes that the current Chatbots can be divided into four categories:

virtual assistant

Starting with ELIZA in 1966, the use of Robots as assistants to complete tasks is the simplest purpose of this research. At present, Chatbots, as virtual assistants, can help users complete tasks such as weather inquiries, taxis, food ordering, ticket reservations, and schedule reminders. The major players include Apple Siri, Google Now, Microsoft Cortana, Baidu’s Dubi, and domestic travel questions. Ask, Assistant Laiye and other start-ups.

In addition, in educational scenarios, according to different educational content, Chatbots can also be used as teaching assistants to help users learn a certain language or learn a certain skill, such as Microsoft Xiaoying, which can teach English, and information that can help children learn poetry. Fly Happy Bear.

Emotional escort

A robot that conducts open-themed chatting with users through chatting and amusing, providing spiritual companionship, emotional comfort and psychological counseling to human beings. Enterprise Triangle.

E-commerce customer service

The main function of the customer service robot is to communicate with buyers and reply to their questions about products and services, so as to reduce the operating cost of enterprise customer service and improve the user experience. Among them are Xiaoi Robot, Jingdong JIMI, NetEase Qiyu, Ali Xiaomi, Wisdom Tooth Technology, etc., but most of the current customer service robots are still inclined to solve passive after-sales problems.

Smart Q&A

Among Chatbots, there is also a class focused on answering questions, such as IBM Watson, Wolfram Alpha, and Magi. Its main function is to answer factual questions raised by users in natural language and questions that require calculation and logical reasoning to assist users in making decisions.

In addition, VentureRadar also summarizes the 25 most watched startups in the Chatbot field as of June 2016, in a variety of industries, including virtual assistants, customer service, recruiting assistants, brand communication, virtual buyers, insurance agents and robots. Platforms, etc., most of which have received angel or A/B rounds of financing.

Chatbot Fever (Part 2): Big Players, Entrepreneurs, and Investors

In addition to more and more “athletes” on the track, the capital outside the track is also amazing. Lei learned that in January 2017, Slack invested in 11 Chatbot startups in one fell swoop with an $80 million fund to lay out the field. I believe that more capital has either been put on a fixed-point basis or is already on the way.

Author and publisher Tim O’Reilly said:

When I’m driving a 2019 Tesla, will I still click and click on the screen? No, I don’t, I can just talk to it.

Former Evernote CEO Phil Libin said:

In a few years, chatbots will be in the architecture of everything.

Driven by big companies and big capital, no one would deny that there are huge market opportunities, but it would be very difficult to estimate an amount. At the same time, more than one person has said:

The next billion dollar market for the internet is chatbots.

There is even more boldness. Matt Swanson, a partner of the international chief strategy officer organization SVSG and the founder of SpeakerText, believes that a $200 billion chatbot market is opening.

In any case, technology giants around the world have made bets, hundreds of start-ups have followed suit, and billions of capital platforms are in place. It may be a pity not to enter.

In general, the arrival of Chatbots is a pleasant thing, but there are still voices of doubt.Robin, the CEO of Operator, one of the first startups to apply chatbots to e-commerce, said that chatbots are still in a “very, very” early stage.industryThere are still many technical bottlenecks in natural language understanding and dialogue management in the world.

However, new things always have their own development process, and it is impossible to have no disadvantages overnight. On the one hand, players must seize this opportunity, no matter whether they can “fly to the sky” or not, at least they will not be left behind; on the other hand, in this intensifying Red Sea, finding a feasible breakthrough is the key to winning.

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