#WatsonDevCon: The Rise of the Bots
San Francisco event delivers insight on how to build conversational bots, personalize them and the opportunity outside of tech

It’s been just two weeks since IBM showed off the power and future of Watson in Las Vegas, and the company is at it again. This time in San Francisco, and this time with a deep developer focus.

Taking place at the Innovation Hangar in downtown San Francisco, IBM’s Watson Developer Conference was home to thousands of developers, coming from all over the world to learn about the power of cognitive technology.

Opening the event, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty set the tone for what’s to come in the world of tech.

IBM Chief Digital Officer Bob Lord made a major announcement, impacting designers, developers, data scientists, and programmers.

While the conversation centered around cognitive technology, attendees were especially interested in the topic of bots.

To say people were excited would be an understatement.

Then again, judging by how far language and tone analysis has come with IBM Watson, “excited” might be just the word needed to appropriately generate a positive sentiment data set.

The top bot-related takeaways from #WatsonDevCon

1) Developers who are building bots need to keep it simple. Don’t throw the kitchen sink at the bot dev process.

Consider the language, tone, and sentiment of users to build-in appropriate responses.

2) What kinds of user experiences should bots create? Conversational or intelligent conversation? These questions generated a few different perspectives from speakers at #WatsonDevCon.

First, developers need to think about how and where someone will use a bot. Some conversations don’t need to appear to be driven by intelligence if they’re just functional.

There are a few things that are important to consider in making a bot feel conversational.

Or maybe it’s more simple than that. Amir Shevat, Director of Developer Relations at Slack, said bots should pass the beer test, not the Turing test.

3) The bot revolution is just beginning.

While bots can already do a lot, panelists on the “Intelligent User Engagement with Chat Bots” panel agreed that there is much opportunity ahead in totally untouched areas and industries.

For businesses that are transitioning to use bots and cognitive technology, the opportunity for developers has become clear.

But opportunity doesn’t stop there.

The final takeaway from #WatsonDevCon: bots are poised to change more than just the world of tech, they’ll soon change tertiary industries and professions as well.