Get Ready for the Onslaught of Bots on Facebook Messenger

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Facebook Messenger has millions of users, and it’s quite clear at F8 that Facebook is looking for the ways to increase its user base abilities.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced a number of additions to its popular messenger, including the ability for businesses to create bots. This is a small part of a BIG push to get consumers and companies to use this service to communicate with each other.

In other words, the already popular messaging app will now allow businesses to automate their customer services.

What are bots on Facebook messenger going to do?


They’ll be able to do provide pretty much anything. They can provide automated subscription content, like traffic and weather, news updates and much more.

But why bots?

Because bots are one of the hottest trends in messaging and can have simple conversations that provide information to people just like humans. Soon, we’ll not be the only smart ones out there!!

In Asia, they’re used by many businesses WeChat and enable all sorts of information and business transactions. Kik and Waterloo have also enabled bots in its service.

Rogers Communications too had a great success using these bots.

Poncho – The Weather Cat

Poncho - The Weather Cat
Poncho – The Weather Cat

Facebook also demonstrated a chat bot called Poncho that uses a cute animated cat to deliver playful yet accurate updates on the weather, that too within the Facebook Messenger interface.

In another demonstration, a Facebook Messenger bot guided a user in selecting and even ordering a pair of shoes from an e-commerce store, without leaving the chat app.

How can a bot be so human?

Well, these bots on facebook messenger or any other bot makes use of the advanced methodologies such as deep learning, a branch of AI.

Therefore, they aren’t simplistic implementations of scripted responses to various queries. They’re sophisticated pieces of code that are able to learn from existing conversations.

Therefore, they aren’t simplistic implementations of scripted responses to various queries. They’re sophisticated pieces of code that are able to learn from existing conversations.

Here’s the reality check!!

Bots on Facebook Messenger
Bot gone wrong.

But every new technology has a flip side. Take the example of Tay, the Microsoft bot that ran amok after being exposed to the harsh reality of Twitter’s malicious spurts. Quite shockingly, this bot picked them up making it go on a racist-laden tirade which eventually led it’s pulling from public exposure.

What next?

Let’s brace ourselves for encounters with such intelligence over the course of our daily lives. In fact, we already are with Siri and Google Now.

So, the next time a helpful chat bubble pops up in your web app, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be powered by a non-human intelligence.

 

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