Often overlooked in the drive toward “automation”, “digitization” and “agile decision making” is online qualitative research.
While research communities are an established method, they are still evolving. New experiments with human chat and chatbots indicate great opportunity for the technology.
Human-led chat still needs to overcome operational data hurdles, but generates more tangible results (especially for ethnographic tasks) and the engagement with moderators is positive.
Chatbots are fun and considered trustworthy by participants. They lead to the same conclusions and provide great opportunity for fusing qualitative and quantitative techniques into one and the same interaction. Bots also lead to substantial gains in time and agility.
It is natural to fear the unknown, but the best way to predict the future is to invent it.