With technology pioneers Facebook and Microsoft both throwing their multibillion hats into the chatbot ring, it is safe to say the dawn of the bot is upon us. In basic terms, a chatbot is a rudimentary form of artificial intelligence software that can converse with humans to answer questions or simply natter to us in as lifelike a manner as possible. Well, you're going to hear a lot of noise about them and while the name might explain a lot, let us clear up the many unanswered questions of what they're for, how they work and whether they're the harbinger of the inevitable robopocalypse.The social media giant announced that the Facebook Messenger app will now allow retailers and news/public information outlets to integrate bots capable of responding to user queries, with the promise that any required responses would be much faster than waiting to speak to a real-life representative.In China, for example, users of the We Chat texting service can pay for services from verified companies and restaurants within the chat app.
Abigail See, a computer science Ph D at Stanford University welcomed the news, saying frameworks like this were “very valuable” to scientists.At the heart of the initiative is what Oracle calls its “orchestration system,” which lets marketers follow up chatbot sessions with relevant emails to sales prospects, as an example.“We want brands to have a place in this [chatbot] world,” Steve Krause, group vice president of product management at Oracle Marketing Cloud, told Adweek.Additionally, Krause and his team will also announce a program dubbed Adaptive Intelligent Apps, which will systematically draw from Oracle Data Cloud’s 6 billion consumer and business profiles and 70,000 attributes.The new features are strongly reminiscent of what Facebook is doing with Messenger.It's allowing third parties to build bots that can help their customers through chat.
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If you have ever asked Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana what the weather will be like for a weekend picnic, you have unknowingly conversed with a chatbot usually dubbed as a personal assistant.