What are bots? Bots are like virtual assistants which can answer questions and help you get things done faster without needing to speak to another human. They’re in Skype, Facebook Messenger and here’s what you need to know. They will appear in your favourite messaging app including Facebook Messenger and Skype. You can use them for booking flights, hotels, ordering takeaway and much, much more.
The word bot can be used to mean several different things. Gamers understand bots as AI characters in a game, while botnets are groups of hijacked computers which cybercriminals use for various tasks such as sending out millions of spam emails or even to attack and attempt to take down websites.
The bots we’re talking about here are essentially virtual assistants, much like Alexa, Siri and Cortana, but they communicate via text rather than speech. Cortana and Google Assistant already do this, of course.
There are thousands upon thousands of chatbots in Facebook Messenger. The latest generation of bots can send videos, audio clips, GIFs and other files.
But as bots increase in their capabilities, we’ll start to use apps less.
Right now, you probably flip between a few different apps to book a weekend away. It’s the same if you’re searching for something you want to buy locally: you might go to a website, search for a product, check stock and then get directions in Google maps to show you how to get there.
Bots will be able to do all this for you: no need to search Google anymore, no need to launch the Uber app.
Anyone who has invested in a smart home kit should benefit from a bot in the future. Today, you have to launch various apps to accomplish different tasks: turn up the heating, flick on the lights, play some music. In the (hopefully near) future, you’ll be able to get a bot to do it all in one go.