Working with Bots in Your Autopiloted Car

On Clever Roads, Chatter Bots and Ambitious Smart Phones

Good news. Future roads may be able to shed all those annoying traffic lights. That will be due, in large part, to the rising number of “connected” vehicles, which could reach a quarter billion by 2020, according to Gartner. There may even be a valet waiting wherever you go. After all, the startup Luxe has valets who park your vehicle when you can’t find a spot nearby

And the car you’ll be driving? There’s a rising chance it’ll be a Tesla, which is starting to offer more affordable models. As you’re hanging out in your autopiloted vehicle, you may find yourself getting things done more easily by conversing with a chatbot. Or, at least, Microsoft is banking on the idea that you will. But, as Microsoft recently learned, there may be a few bumps along the road to chatbotting. After all, it only took a day for Tay, its Twitter chatbot, to go rogue

Amazon’s Alexa is usually a kinder, gentler conversationalist, which can even turn off your Lutron smart lights at night when you ask. Google is also working hard to turn conversations with bots into fruitful, productive exchanges. You might access those Google bots via your smartphone. They’ll do everything from keep your appointments to analyze your work data.

That’s one reason Microsoft isn’t giving up on phones yet. They plan to develop their own category-busting phone, making it easier for people to make them their primary computing device.

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