Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) – COVID-19 Has Sent The Need For Chatbots Skyrocketing. Is The Technology Ready?
The story of chatbots could have been written—and, indeed, was being written—without the help of a global pandemic.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some estimates had pegged the chatbot market would grow from $2.6 billion to $9.4 billion in the next five years. This projected growth was mostly attributed to increased adoption rates and improvements in AI and natural language processing technology.
But in the span of a few days in March, bank branches closed, call centers cleared out, and most other customer service-adjacent workers were sent home, forcing businesses to suddenly confront a virtual-only reality.
Where Chatbots Stood Pre-Pandemic
Most early examples of chatbots as we know them can be traced to technology companies like Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) (Siri) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) (Watson), as well as business-to-consumer websites like Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Alaska Air Group Inc (NYSE: ALK). Each of