It is almost impossible these days to have not heard of or encountered bots. So, what is a bot and how has it integrated itself into our lives? Bots have been around for a long time; search engines like Google have extensively been making use of bots, also known as spiders or web crawlers, to analyze content and index the web.
Bots are essentially software that perform automated tasks, sometimes to simulate or replace repetitive human tasks – this is especially the case for chatbots. Chatbots are designed to interact with humans in a conversational manner on messenger platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. This comes in handy for e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers online that do not have the capacity to personally respond to every inquiry or request from their customers.
Bots are increasingly used in the form of virtual assistants. Voice controlled assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Echo, and Google’s language control are some of the major examples of how businesses have capitalized on the advancements of bots to answer customers’ queries and help get things done swiftly without needing to speak to another human being.
Bots have made their way to Facebook, Skype, and several other services to help improve businesses’ customer service and to speed up shopping processes and response rates. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella deemed bots as the “new apps” as everything is done through existing messaging apps you likely already have on your smartphone.