service providers [ 1], typically in the
context of messaging applications.
Need a reminder to pick up some
flowers for your husband on the way
home? Ask Jarvis the chatbot to
remind you. Wonder if you should
bring an umbrella to that meeting
in Stockholm? Send Poncho the
artificial weather cat a message and
ask. If technology giants like Google,
Facebook, and Microsoft are right, we
will be moving our digital interaction
from websites and apps with graphical
user interfaces to messaging platforms
such as Messenger and Allo. If
this happens, huge challenges and
opportunities await in the field of HCI.
A potential revolution is happening
in front of our eyes. For decades,
researchers and practitioners in
human-computer interaction (HCI)
have been improving their skills in
designing for graphical user interfaces.
Now things may take an unexpected
turn—toward natural language
user interfaces, in which interaction
with digital systems happens not
through scrolling, swiping, or
button clicks, but rather through
strings of text in natural language.
This is particularly visible in recent
developments in chatbots, that is,
machine agents serving as natural
language user interfaces to data and
AInsights → Major technology companies see chatbots and natural language user interfaces as the next big thing. → Natural language as a preferred interface for interacting with digital services has many implications and opportunities for the field of HCI.
Asbjørn Følstad and Petter Bae Brandtzaeg, SINTEF