What is a Bot?

Bots were the Hot New Thing for 2016. Facebook introduced them at their developer conference and the already steep hype curve inflected even further up.  So what is all the excitement about?

The industry is still trying to agree on a definition for bots, but at Mobido we consider a bot a digital assistant. Bots can chat with you in your favorite instant messenger, present a graphical UI like iMessage, or talk to you through Alexa. Bots can vibrate your iWatch or make sounds from your smartphone to get your attention. Each bot solves a problem, such as shopping for groceries or choosing a restaurant.

Bots aren’t new – They’ve been around since the beginning of the Internet. They started as little programs to automate tasks, and they’ve grown to occupy computers everywhere. Up till now, they’ve been operating behind the scenes.

Bots have traditionally been pretty dumb. Last year that started to change. The enormous investments in machine learning and natural language understanding have given bots real legs to stand on. We are now training bots to understand what you say with Alexa, and what you are typing on services like Facebook. This first wave of conversational bots, chatbots, are still very rough and many have a hard time understanding you.  They will get better, they just need time.

At Mobido, we are building bots to help families.  We are working hard to make bots aware of your situation, intelligent enough to know what to do, and connected to your devices so they can present themselves in the right way and at the right time.

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