Chris Messina Talks Personalized Virtual Assistants – Voicebot Podcast Episode 38

Chris Messina is co-founder of the company that makes the personalized virtual assistant Molly. He is a frequent conference speaker and commentator on chatbots and voice assistants and sees Molly as both a tool for individuals and as a vehicle to connect people through a new social assistant model. A former developer experience lead at Uber, developer advocate and UX designer at Google, Chris was also previously a board member of the OpenID and Open Web foundations. Chris is probably best known as the inventor of the hashtag for Twitter. He earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and shares his thoughts with Voicebot Community about chat, voice and the future of assistants.

Interestingly, Chris and the team first built Molly for Facebook Messenger and then Amazon Alexa. However, what they learned was that they needed a mobile app to fully realize their near-term product vision. There may be an all-of-the-above strategy for accessing an assistant, but you also need to line up feature capabilities and user access with product distribution. A mobile app was the right evolution matching those criteria given the constraints of conversational platforms today. In addition, Molly not only can answer questions about you, it blends into a pseudo social network that unearths similarities between users. Molly is a fascinating take on what a personal virtual assistant can become beyond a simply task execution service.

Show Notes – Chris Messina Interview

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