Chatbots? Really?

The new host trend in Silicon Valley is chatbots. Everybody and their brother is rushing to produce an API so businesses can create their own chatbots that interact with people via text (or voice?) conversation.

Satya Nadella of Microsoft calls it “conversation as a service”. Facebook and the media echo chamber that follow them around call it the next big revolution of the Internet. No more user-interface issues (as if chatting isn’t a user-interface, and everybody can speak and spell intelligibly).

The only reason I can see for this push is it will be harder to block ads that appear (or are read to you) in the middle of a chat session.