- Taco Bell has jumped into the chatbot space with its TacoBot, a technology that uses office messaging app Slack to take orders for the fast food restaurant.
- The TacoBot was created in conjunction with the agency for the food brand, Deutsch, and uses Facebook's artificial intelligence technology.
- Taco Bell’s announcement comes the same week of Facebook’s F8 conference where branded chatbot interactions via its Messenger app were a point of focus.
Deutsch’s senior VP and creative technology director, Martin Legowiecki, told Marketing Land, “We are at a point of switching up how we use computers. It used to be we had to talk like computers.”
With chatbots marketers can use computers to “talk” with consumers, not just the other way around. Of course in creating a chatbot, marketers must craft elaborate decision trees on how the automated communication responds to various interactions. For example, when the TacoBot takes order, if you tell the you happen to be drunk, it automatically adds water to your order -- and humor into the chatbot ordering process.
Still, some marketers might find the convenience of automating interactions with their audience outweighed by the possibility the chatbot doesn’t quite get the correct message across to those potential customers.
Legowiecki also told Marketing Land that they want to make sure the TacoBot isn't seen simply as a marketing ploy, and rather their hope for the bot is for it to grow smarter and more capable. “We didn’t just build a chatbot,” he said, adding they “set out to build a system just like Siri is.”
The TacoBot uses artificial intelligence software created by Wit.ai with natural language technology. Wit.ai was acquired by Facebook last year and was used to create its virtual assistant, M.