Enter your email to read the full article.

Bots and Humans Strain to Get Along on Messenger, Twitter

When customers started chatting with 1-800-Flowers.com on Facebook Messenger in recent months, they often received two different kinds of responses in the same thread.

One would be an automated response run by a bot company that can serve up flower orders in a few taps. The other response would be from a human agent that signed his or her name, using live chat enterprise software. The two systems created confusion for customers at times. Humans trying to answer questions and bots trying to sell flowers “kept stepping on one another,” said Jon Mandell, vice president of marketing and customer experience for 1-800-Flowers.

No subscription? You’re missing out.
Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information’s original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 872 words of this article.
What’s included in a subscription?
Read The Information’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis
Receive as-they-happen articles via email
Talk with award-winning reporters in subscriber-only conference calls
Join the conversation on our subscriber-only Slack channel
Attend intimate, high-powered events with leaders in tech and business
Subscribe to The Information

Puneet Mehta, CEO of the bot startup msg.ai, said it will be up to platforms like Twitter and Facebook to set expectations and rules for users as these interactions become more mainstream. “This question always comes up: Do you tell the user they’re talking to a bot? When do you switch from bot to human? What happens when it switches back to AI? It hasn’t been solved for yet,” Mr. Mehta said.

6 total comments
Tom Elliott, Michel Meyer and 4 others commented on this article.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Tina Sharkey
Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Athletic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
"Customers get more frustrated if they spend six minutes chatting with a bot that doesn’t get them anywhere."