Wednesday, April 13, 2016

T4L: Why not have a Chat with a Bot

Are you ready to have a conversation with …. An algorithm?  Here come the chat bots.

So, a chatbot is a computer programme designed to simulate conversations with human users.  The term, chat bot, is actually short for chat robot which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn from conversations.

Chatbots offer an easy interface with technology for many users.  For some, it can be like the difference between calling Customer Service versus learning code.

Tay, one of the most notorious chatbots released into the wild, had a short lifespan when Microsoft introduced her on Twitter last March.  In a matter of hours, Tay learned from her human conversations.  It was conversely a technological success and a moral failure.  Internet trolls hurled negative, derogatory, fascist, racist and abusive comments at “her”, effectively teaching her to be a hate monger.  Did I mention this happened in just a few hours?


Hoping for greater success on an artificially limited space, Facebook has launched an API for Messenger to facilitate chatbots.  The likely outcome, companies, and brands will develop their own chatbots to interact with Messenger’s 900 million users.  Order flowers, send gifts or get an “opinion” on a prospective purchase from a human sounding robot on an artificial conversational tool.

The future is now.

Tech4Life airs every Wednesday morning at 8:15 am on @RJR94FM

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