About the MoNage Conference

The trip to California for the largest conference on instant messengers and chatbots, MoNage.io (March 21 — 23, 2017), organized by my friend Jeff Pulver (@JeffPulver), gave me many positive emotions and knowledge.

At this conference there were representatives of such giants as: Google, IBM, Facebook, Twillio, Cisco and others.

The Octaine, Pandorabots, Alterra and other platforms were also presented.

Investors, including Khosla Ventures, spoke. In general, 3 days of the conference were very productive and high-charged. The only thing you always regret about at the end is that you did not have time to communicate with everyone.

What I remembered and liked

First of all, I’d like to thank Jeff and Emilie for the great organization of the conference.

But let’s follow the order.

First. I was impressed by Jeff’s speech, who believes that we are entering a new era of communication. He calls this era Convosphere or the Internet of People. A characteristic feature of this era lies in the fact that people will communicate with machines using a human language. The movie «Her», where the main character falls in love with his operating system. Comes to mind at once. Of course, this is still far away, but the fact that it will greatly change the future seems to me already accomplished.

Second. Private investors and funds representatives, including Khosla Ventures took the floor too. They have already begun to select companies for their portfolio. This means that the interest in start-ups, dealing with artificial intelligence and machine learning, is picking up.

Third. The Pandorabots and Octaine platforms were presented, the creators of which told about their market as a whole. It is interesting that Octaine attracted more than 1.5 million dollars of private investments into its project.

Bots-influencers, the bots, communicating with the audience on behalf of an ordinary person, were introduced. Now it becomes fashionable to have personal chatbots. Anyone can create their own chatbot to communicate with the audience. And this communication will be personal. This kind of chatbot has a special appeal to celebrities and public people. It is known that they practically do not read comments to their posts and even less often react to them. So their fans and supporters lack personal communication with their idols. Any person can create a chatbot so that other people could communicate with him. We find this approach very promising for the future.

Fifth. Real cases of using chatbots, for example, for questioning customers and collecting feedback, were presented. Namely: Sephora’s business case: due to the new way of communication (via texting) with the customer the company understands much better the customer’s needs.

Sixth. It is worth mentioning the speech of Amit Shafrir from Quiv, who told about the types of emoji and how to use them. I had no idea that the usual «no» can be written in so many different ways, and each case will have completely different connotation. If you want to get a master class on the topic: how to get acquainted via correspondence and how to conduct it, Amita is the best to tell you about it.

An IBM representative speech was also attention-grabbing. Интересным было выступление и представителя IBM. As usual, we were presented an IBM super-brain. It’s amazing how many of everything they have in this system and how universal it is. At the same time, we think that IBM plays cunning when saying that it is easy to create a chatbot using their framework. I specifically watched the demos on Youtube and realized that IBM offers the solution for developers, not for users, because it is not easy at all to create and configure your chatbot using IBM Watson.

Eighth. I was surprised to learn that one of the managers of the Facebook project communicate only in the internal messenger, almost without using email. He even joked or maybe didn’t, that if he needed to communicate by email, he would quit. In fact, this is a significant shift in the usual coordinates of communication. (I myself have not yet reached this step.) It’s still easier to communicate by email.

In general, many conference participants agreed that this market is still young and its potential customers are still to be educated.

I want to strongly support Jeff in what he does, and wish that the number of his associates and members of the community should steadily grow!

George Fomitchev

Founder of EnduranceRobots.com