Shashwat Pradhan Shashwat Pradhan

Quantified Self apps as chat bots

Chat bots have finally made it to the masses with platforms like Messenger, Slack, Line & Telegram opening up. With all the hype this week, seems like chat has become the new interface for apps. This is really handy in the Quantified Self space, since chat is sometimes a convenient way of conveying user data. Although it may be slower to view data than a simple dashboard, it is definitely a more expressive way. Also, chat bots can provide data in a more human & analysed way – maybe similar to a coach.

Many apps like Lark & Goqii are already using human experts or AI coaches as I had discussed earlier: https://emberify.com/blog/ai-apps-the-new-quantified-self-frontier/

The interesting part with platforms providing access to bots is that user’s won’t always need an additional app & the overall experience will be much better & uniform. (They can work on user data that is already tracked, like through HealthKit)

 

At Emberify, we were brainstorming on how we can connect Instant with a bot interface to provide data to user’s in a better way. When I think of bots and Quantified Self apps, here are some pros I thought of:

– Simple Data Querying: The user can talk to the bot in a simple manner to get his/her data for a particular instance rather than scrolling through dates and various filter parameters. Bots can provide a great search experience for Lifelogging apps.

– Seeing data in a more user friendly way: Data by itself isn’t too useful, bots can sum up data for the user or provide a more analysed version of it. Bots are more human in conveying data to the user.

– Interactive experience: Many Quantified Self apps & hardware platforms have a retention problem. With bots providing a more interactive experience, people are more likely to come back to it. Also they will get more value with their data.

Bots for lifelogging apps

In terms of disadvantages, I think bots would be much slower than graphs or a dashboard in providing glanceable data. But then, they can always be used together. Also, the natural language processing of most of the chat bots is far from perfect today, making the experience frustrating.

We are planning to add a simple bot interface in Instant, to add value on the user’s data. This would be great since user’s can get personal analytics with a coach as an integrated solution. We are looking for your ideas too, on how chat bots can work with lifelogging apps?

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