Source – entrepreneur.com
Bots are dominating online communication, and most consumers don’t even realize the number of times they have interacted with a bot while browsing their favorite website or completing an online purchase.
Bot technology is far from a new concept, though, as its origins date all the way back to 1966 with the invention of Eliza, a bot that managed to mimic a natural conversation through programmed responses. With no sign of slowing down, here are five innovative ways bot technology is advancing.
1. The implementation of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a push toward being able to accomplish things that require human intelligence without needing humans. In the world of bots, the implementation of AI is geared toward creating environments where the bot you are speaking to is indistinguishable from a human being.
The key difference between a bot with AI versus one without is that bots with artificial intelligence are designed to learn and evolve over time. The addition of AI to bot technology opens the door to endless possibilities for human interactions.
Imagine a bot able to learn and adapt to the behaviors of someone with Alzheimer’s — identifying when a person has forgotten something and learning to remind them of things as their condition deteriorates.
However, there is a dangerous side to bots — they have the potential to use learned speech patterns and information about people to impersonate them. With the amount of personal data stored on mobile applications, a bot could potentially use it to steal your personality, as well as your identity. Scary, right?
This has led to a greater push for secrecy in mobile applications, with more decentralized and private messenger services are beginning to emerge like Ravn, which hides every aspect of a person’s identity and encrypts every part of a conversation.
2. Brand awareness
In the past, if you wanted to advertise your brand, you needed to create a one-off commercial or advertisement to grab the attention of your audience and encourage them to look at your offer.
With bots, this is no longer the case. You can create a bot that represents your brand and spreads information relating to it. Bots can be available instantaneously to provide further information to prospective customers. They can not only raise a broader awareness of your product by being implemented in various mediums, but are also able to respond to millions of customers at once without the expense of manpower.
For example, if you are an online clothing brand, you could have a bot that is programmed to gather information about a customer’s preferences and then offer to send them daily or weekly updates on fashion trends, with offers specifically catered to their interests.
3. Intuitive programming
The art of the sale is a skill that has been studied over and over for centuries, but what about the art of programming a sale? This is the thought process behind innovative new technologies aimed at guiding customers through a sale without needing a human sales representative.
If you do a lot of online shopping, you more than likely have had a live-chat box pop up offering to help you. Most of the time there isn’t an actual human behind the screen — it’s a bot. This has led bot developers to make more intuitive bots that aim for comfort as much as convenience, because in order to convert, a customer needs to trust the person they are buying from.
Bots are working behind the scenes as well. PassportRenewal.com is the TurboTax of passport renewals, made possible by its own “smart wizard,” which the company describes as a feature that “seamlessly automates customer information to help them complete many application tasks, including filling out forms.” So, not only are bots being used to attract conversions, but they are also being used to help funnel the customer through the entire process faster, post-conversion.
4. Bots with personality
Whether you want to sell something, gather information or simply entertain, the fastest way to lose your audience is by being boring. In the beginning, bots were clunky, slow and dull.
They responded only to specific questions and only delivered programmed responses. Now, bots are more advanced — they have personalities. You can have a bot that tells jokes, or replies to kindness with kindness and sarcasm with sarcasm. The more complex bots become, the more they will seamlessly integrate themselves into our daily lives.
5. The bad bots
Not all bots are created to help, and many have become painfully aware of this, especially in the cryptocurrency market. This has brought a popular scam known as “phishing” to a whole new level.
As described by the Oxford Dictionary, phishing is “the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information.” Previously, phishing was done by people sending emails, texts, etc. — using various scams looking for bites.
Now, with bots, phishing is interactive. This is a problem that has led to the creation of bots that fight other bots. Companies like Coral Protocols use Telegram bots like Phishnet to catch and alert users to incoming phishing attempts.
Phishnet is able to identify threats by applying trust scores to addresses in a particular blockchain. Millions of dollars in cryptocurrency are lost every day to phishing, and the phishing attempts are becoming more advanced daily.