Fortune: Online chat ‘assistant’ may not be real

Fortune reports on chatbots used in online stores to talk potential customers out of abandoning their virtual shopping carts. “…A startup called UpSellit is … using live chat to act as a sales assistant …. but here’s UpSellit’s twist: That person on the other end of the live chat box isn’t a person at all. You’re chatting with software that’s designed to fool you into thinking it’s a person.” Clearly another step blurring the real and virtual that raises a few ethical and possibly legal questions. How would knowing that you’re talking to a bot change your attitude or behavior? What if you thought you were talking to a bot but it turned out be a real human being?

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