Now that chatbots have been gaining in popularity, what exactly is a chatbot and what does it do? According to Scott Carey, writing for Techworld:
“Before chatbots, there were just bots — based on software designed to automate a specific task. A chatbot is built on the same premise; however, it delivers this task around a single function, namely chat, or simulated conversation. A chatbot uses machine learning to pick up on conversational cadences, allowing it to effectively mimic human conversation and react to spoken or written prompts to deliver a service.”
“The chatbot is essentially a user interface which can be plugged into a number of data sources via APIs [application program interfaces] so it can deliver information or services on demand, such as weather forecasts or breaking news.”
“While chatbots have been around in various rudimentary forms for years — think of Clippy, Microsoft’s paper clip virtual assistant — they have been taking off lately as advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence make them more versatile than ever. Among the most well-known chatbots: Apple’s Siri.”
“In rapid succession over the past few months, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have each unveiled their chatbot strategies, touting the potential for this evolving technology to aid users and corporate America with its customer-service capabilities as well as business utility features like organizing a meeting. Yahoo joined the bandwagon recently, launching its first chatbots on a chat app called Kik Messenger.”
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