Evolution of Bots – Chat Bots and Conversational Apps
Bots are nothing new in the digital world. They have been around for quite some time, quietly operating and interacting with people. And surely, you have had a chance to talk with one. For instance, those digital secretaries that make you press a specific button or speak into the phone are a type of bot. Also, in the early development of computers there were some pioneers, like ELIZA, and you have probably tried speaking with it via text and trying to outsmart it.
A lot of time has passed since your childhood playing with ELIZA or any other bot, and since then, technology has massively developed. Nowadays, bots are being incorporated into messaging apps, or made into virtual assistants. Basically, they are everywhere and offer various services.
Find help with a virtual assistant
One great benefit these new bots offer, is the opportunity to have your own personal assistant. You could download an app, or use the one already integrated in the phone, and get the help you need. For instance, you could get information about the weather for the day, and the rest of the week. Also, you could get news updates or traffic information. All this could be personalised by enabling the use of location services on your phone. By doing this, your personal assistant would give you updates based on your current location.
For example, this is great when travelling internationally. Google Now, for instance, has all these options, as well as syncing your calendar or emails. Because of the sync option, you could get reminders about future flights, as well as more information about the place you are travelling to. Moreover, with the option to voice search, you could ask various questions and the app would reply with search results, giving you a short voiced answer.
Apple’s Siri also has this option. In addition to providing you with useful answers, which are straightforward, Siri can joke from time to time. This makes it a bit more “human” than other personal assistants.
Not to fall behind, Facebook has developed their own assistant, simply called “M”. Even though it has not been officially released, it has garnered a lot of attention for its intelligence and use of human helpers, too. It could be used for searching information and completing tasks for you. For example, M could buy things or order flowers instead of you. Clearly, the people behind it want to make it unparalleled by other assistants like Siri or Cortana. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit more before Facebook releases it to the public.
One Messenger to incorporate it all
Speaking of Facebook, their Messenger app has grown into something huge and powerful. It started off as a must-have app for chatting through Facebook, which many users disliked, but with time they have grown to like it, at least. What enabled this likability are the many options and add-ons that come with the app. Aside from chatting with text, users can now reply with gifs, videos, doodles and other options, thanks to the Messenger Platform which integrates numerous outside apps into Messenger.
Furthermore, Facebook has made it possible for business to operate through Messenger. You could order an Uber ride with it, or maybe even food. Also, a few businesses could track your order once you have bought something through their website. When you have checked out from the store, you would be offered to enable the store to send you order details to Messenger. If you accept, all the info about what you’ve bought, when it will be dispatched and the time of arrival, would be visible in the chat. Moreover, you could ask questions and get an immediate response from the app. And lastly, it is very easy for the owner of the business to set up this option.
What is the impact on the online community?
Without a doubt, these bots will bring so much to the table. Not only would the service be better, but the access to information would be quicker, almost immediate. With the help of Messenger bots, for example, the users wouldn’t feel the need to switch from app to app in order to find what they need. Because of the integration of these bots within Messenger, you could get answers right there, in that one app. Ordering food, buying gifts, getting information about a business – all of it is possible thanks to the bot.
Furthermore, this goes for the personal assistant apps, as well. You could have it all in one place. Siri, Google Now, or Facebook’s M, could give you answers to all of your questions. Plus, you could set up reminders, track flights, and more. Life organisation would be so much better and easier.
Obviously, the evolution of bots would bring a lot of changes and revolutionary technology, which would be beneficial for both private and professional people. A communication link would be created between the two, making collaboration more fulfilling and trouble-free. Also, users would get simple access to a vast storage of knowledge and data.
A clear conclusion would be that the impact these bots would have, would be a positive one. Therefore, we should all welcome this technological advancement with open arms. Whatever works for us, in our favour, is also good for us. It might take time to get used to it, or for the bots to fully develop, but it would be worth the wait. Actually, we have been interacting with them, some of us just haven’t been aware of it. Just check the apps you have downloaded, and you will see it for yourself.
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