By now, just about everyone is familiar to one degree or another with some form of a conversational interface, such as Siri from Apple, Cortana from Microsoft, or Alexa from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Less clear is to what degree those conversational interfaces will replace traditional graphical user interfaces (GUI).
Aiming to make it easier for end users to invoke a conversational interface, Pegasystems today unveiled Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant, a bot that end users can use to verbally engage any Pegasystems application from almost any device or application, including Facebook, Alexa, email systems, messaging services and collaboration applications such as Slack.
Ying Chen, head of product strategy for Pegasystems, says the Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant also makes use of predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms and natural language processing to suggest actions based on previous interactions that end users have had with applications.
In addition, Chen says Pegasystems is making available a modeling tool through which end users can train Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant to perform tasks without having to write any code.
As powerful as conversational interfaces may be, Chen says that traditional GUIs will not be going away any time soon. Instead, end users will employ a combination of conversational and existing user experience (UX) interfaces to accomplish tasks more efficiently.
“Don’t fire all your GUI developers,” says Chen. “Conversational interfaces will not replace the existing UX entirely.”
There’s no doubt that the way end users engage applications is about to profoundly change. But like most transitions, that shift is not going to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Instead, end users will be able to accomplish a larger number of tasks in much shorter periods of time employing a mix of interfaces as they best see fit.