April 16, 2017

"It’s official: 'Bot for X' is the new 'Uber for X.'"

venture beat: Bots are eating the world. by Jensen Harris via textio

'Whether you are an enterprising app developer building the essential software to bring a virtual Taylor Swift into your Slack chats, or just lonely and in need of a dumb, annoying virtual friend to message you on Facebook, we seem to be clear on one thing: Many experiences, apps, sites, and products are going to be replaced with bots. (Unless they are being replaced with VR. Or AR. Or a typewriter keyboard for your iPhone.)

'And sure, bots are cool. Ever since ELIZA struggled to pass the Turing Test and HAL 9000 murdered his crew (later reincarnated in a hardly remembered Apple Super Bowl commercial), we’ve been infatuated with the idea of computers as our inevitable sidekicks.

'Bots center around one specific niche aspect of artificial intelligence: conversational understanding. Human factors experts have long been enthralled by the idea that a more natural way to communicate with computers would be through speech, and we’ve spent the better part of a century building to a point where natural conversations may soon be a reality.'

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