Today, Facebook announced a bold new bot initiative that lives inside its Messenger application: artificial intelligence-powered personalities at our beck and call for shopping, checking the weather, getting news updates, and more. There’s just one problem: the bots are slow… painfully slow. In fact, Poncho the “weathercat,” which Facebook messaging chief David Marcus demoed onstage at the company’s F8 developer conference today, comes with a disclaimer that it “typically replies within an hour.” That’s neat, if you’re the kind of person who can spend an hour waiting to know whether it’s going to rain.
Quite frankly, this is about as interesting as 360° video and 3D TVs. A waste of time for everyone involved — developers, users, etc. I rarely have such negative feelings about something, but the fact that this is even news is unbelievable.