“The robots are coming — to help run your life or sell you stuff — at an online texting service near you,” Brandon Bailey reports for The Associated Press. “In coming months, users of Facebook’s Messenger app, Microsoft’s Skype and Canada’s Kik can expect to find new automated assistants offering information and services at a variety of businesses. These messaging ‘chatbots’ are basically software that can conduct human-like conversation and do simple jobs once reserved for people.”
“Experts say messaging bots can handle a wider range of tasks than apps offered by retailers and other consumer businesses. In part, that’s because bots can recognize a variety of spoken or typed phrases, where apps force users to choose from options on a drop-down menu,” Bailey reports. “Kik, which is popular among U.S. teenagers, opened a new ‘bot shop’ last week. Kik users can talk to bots that will answer questions about the weather, show funny videos or help with online shopping. Slack, a messaging service used by businesses, has partnered with Taco Bell to introduce a ‘Taco Bot’ that helps Slack users order ahead for meals at a local outlet.”
“Tech experts are particularly eager to see what Facebook does with Messenger, since its 900 million users make it the world’s second biggest chat platform after WhatsApp, which claims 1 billion users. Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014,” Bailey reports. “Both are free to users and don’t produce much revenue for Facebook. But if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has given WhatsApp’s co-founders leeway with their service, executives have signaled they are increasingly looking for ways to make money from Messenger.
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MacDailyNews Take: You had us at “Taco Bot.”
Don’t fight it. Embrace your bot overlords!
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