How some publishers are giving chatbots personality: Actors and comedians

One major criticism of chatbots are that their interactions with users are too robotic. But some publishers and brands are addressing that by hiring comedians and scriptwriters to shape the bots’ personalities and make them sound more human. Slack integration Howdy was built with writer and former improv comedian Neal Pollack, while Google just announced it has hired writers from Pixar and The Onion to work on its Google Assistant. “For a brand or publisher building a bot, it ends up being an experiment,” Imperson (which builds character bots for companies such as Disney) co-founder Seth Greenberg says, “One of the early lessons is that free comes at a cost: You lose your voice.”