Yes, that’s right, speaking with a Facebook Bot using Facebooks Messenger platform was super hot. In fact, it was 34 degrees Celcius (93.2 Fahrenheit) hot. Let me explain.
The Current State of Bot Communication
At the moment, whether you know it or not you are communicating with on a daily basis. You may not be physically speaking to them, but you are engaging them. You may be dialing a toll-free number and you have to go through a switchboard type, voice operated, voice recorded operator to direct your calls to the appropriate person or service. Most of us are at least using a cell phone and will need to check our airtime, call or data balance using either a call, SMS, or computer driven system. These are all bots that have been programmed to respond to you in a certain way based on a number of possible options that are available to you and the machine on the other end.
Facebook Announced Messenger Bots at F8
Last week Mark Zuckerburg announced that he is investing a significant amount of time and energy into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Facebook Messanger App. He predicts that in the upcoming months and years, companies will develop intelligence similar to automatic switchboard operators to respond to you on the ever popular messenger platform.
To find more information about this latest piece of tech, I headed over to Facebook’s dedicated Messenger Platform page for more information.
I found a section on the page where I could literally try speaking with a bot to get a weather forecast. The company is called Poncho.
They have built a bot into their Facebook Messenger app. Click here to try it.
It Was Hot For Me, How Was It For You?
I live in Bangkok, so the weather prediction was 34 degrees Celcius, as I mentioned above. Watch the video to get my full experience.
I think we have a long way to go to have this technology work well. Companies will need to invest the time to learn the platform and also educate i.e. program logic into the bots to provide a usable and interactive experience.
Granted, with the likes of Siri and Cortana and other technologies already working in a similar manner, I am sure that Facebook will bring their A game and commit heavily in this tech. In the long term, yes it may benefit all of us, but how long to see a return on the investment is to be seen.
Tell me what your experience has been with these types of bots in the comments.