The future may well be here. The Wall Street Journal explains a phenomenon that it claims could be the next big thing in advertising -- chatvertising.
The chat service Kik (which is extremely popular among teens) has begun employing chat bots that enable users to have actual conversations with brands.
Right now the number of brands using the service is small and the conversations are, by design, somewhat rudimentary. However, there is no reason a chat bot could not be designed so that you could converse with a brand in the same way you would talk with a friend.
A bot could serve a customer-service function (and probably do a better job than this guy) or could be a tool that helps a brand bring its personality to life.