Chatbots: The Revenge of Command-Line

Recently I began hearing terms like “conversational marketing”, “chatbots” etv. and I was thinking that should be a joke or something. It was during my university years (around 1995) that windows 95 were released and the GUI paradigm won the competition against the command-line, which was more popular on unix-based system at the time.

I even remember students among several others, expressing their disappointment for the command-line of unix, and how in windows one can administer the services and the apps more efficiently. I was thinking back then that it was lack of experience, you know, it is like Leon said: “first you begin with the sniper rifle, as far as you can be from your victim, then you end up with the knife”. So, it was typical for inexperienced users to begin with the UI that had all the options exposed and the most experienced to end up with command-line that provided rapid configuration and automation.

Time has passed since then, and GUI won the war obviously. My kin (aka people that liked command-line) ended up with OS X, that has excellent apps and stability, backed by a unix-based system.

But as it seems, revenge is a dish served cold. Chatbots, which are the latest trend are backed up by artificial intelligence and provide automation through a chat interface, like slack. But the chat interface is like command-line right. So you have to memorize commands in order to receive specific functionality or information. So, all these people that hated the command-line, now through chat, they love it. And they will be very happy to use it! Cool huh.

Either way, things are very interesting these days and the progress has been real significant in applications and hardware. Now that I think about it, maybe the bash should be a chatbot right? Put a little AI in the traditional shell (and NLP). Who knows?