As I continue to process the take aways from Fall 2016 MoNage, I am even more convinced that the way “we” experience the Internet is changing, and the result of the shift in how communication evolves will be highly disruptive. This disruption will be fought by the companies being disrupted as well as by lobbyists trying to apply laws meant for other situations but, on the positive side, the disruption may force companies to re-think how they approach the Internet.

The communications shift I am talking about comes from the mass adoption of ChatBots, also known as Conversational Interfaces, mixed with Artificial Intelligence, as the new interface for business to business, business to consumer, and consumer to business communications. I have read reports stating the growth of ChatBots may disrupt the Apps business. I believe it will. If you are wondering about what a ChatBot is: If you have ever played a computer game, in substance, you have used a chatbot. You used an app which you interacted with, which followed a script and shared with you a result. This is a very simplistic example, but the point that is we are now at a major inflection point for which there will be no turning back, and from which we are likely to see the way we use the Internet change. Apps may start to disappear over time. Websites will be less needed; the information shared on websites will be stored in the Cloud and accessed by services that need it. Communications will happen on our behalf and information will be presented in a way more in tune with how we process and share information once we search for it ourselves. Communications will be better, easier and more relevant for us Internet users as a result of AI. Furthermore this change will make life better for our personal and business connections, implying new business opportunities and models to explore.

Summing up the change, the interface between humans and computers is rapidly changing from an “operational” interface (Websites, apps) to a “conversational” interface (ChatBots, voice interfaces). This is revolutionary, given that the “operational” interface has been the standard way to interact with computers since the earliest computers came on the market.

In order for this fundamental shift to happen, there is a lot of work to be done. From evolving the way ChatBots are developed to keeping a watchful eye on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. I personally know how critically important to keep this industry from becoming regulated too early in its lifetime.

I believe that creating ChatBots should be easier than it is today. As part of that objective, it would be best if there were a way to disintermediate the ChatBot codebase from the backend server APIs and offer the developer community independence. And there is more. For this reason, I have decided to help cofound the International ChatBot Coalition, with the mission to provide a voice and bring together as many developers as possible to help grow this nascent industry.

I am hosting the first ChatBot Coalition Meeting at 1PM in New York City on November 17th. If you would like to learn more about ChatBot Coalition and to be invited to join the meeting, please visit: http://fcc.ai.

And speaking of ChatBots, for Spring 2017 MoNage I am actively looking for people who would like to speak. The “Call for Speakers” is now open and the deadline is November 18th. For more information about Spring 2017 MoNage and to submit a speaking proposal, please click here.

Hugs, Jeff