Insightful as ever, the Economist takes a look at whether Facebook's chatbot 'online store' while replicate the commercial success and global impact of Apple's App Store.
In the Insurtech space startups such as Spixii are targeting a different way of engaging with customers. Will the world of insurance buying lend itself to disruption by AI? And if so, will the likes of Spixii, Insurgram (previously Chat Dich Sicher), and Brolly be able to drive this disruption or will the incumbents invest enough (or simply buy the disruptors), repeating the extreme version of Pareto's principle whereby just a handful of apps dominate the revenue generation side of downloads.
The world is changing (again), but will the change be significant enough for the incumbents to get hurt?
At a conference on April 12th in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s boss, is expected to make a similar announcement. He will probably unveil an online shop and coding tools for “chatbots”. These are text-based services which let users complete tasks such as checking news, organising meetings, ordering food or booking a flight by sending short messages. Bots are usually powered by artificial intelligence (hence the name, as in “robot”), but may also rely on humans. Many in the technology industry hope that Facebook’s event will mark the beginning of another fast-growing, multi-billion-dollar software economy. Are bots the new apps?