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Facebook looks to Bots for Business on Messenger

Facebook will soon launch a new platform for Messenger which will see users chatting with AI bots in the place of business representatives. Last year the social network made it possible for businesses to communicate with their customers via the Messenger App; now the new update looks to revolutionise how users communicate with businesses…

Facebook have announced their intention to release AI chat bots as business representatives on the Messenger App. The new update has been a headline feature at F8, Facebook’s Annual Global Developer Conference held at Fort Mason, San Francisco across the 12th and 13th April this year.

To what extent has the new platform been rolled out by the network?

Facebook has already shown some of the capabilities of the new tech with its own virtual assistant, known as M. M identifies and responds to key phrases in user’s requests partly via artificial intelligence, and partly via human users. However, the platform appears to be in the early stages of development. The app hasn’t travelled further than San Francisco yet and a proportion of features still seem to be controlled by human users.

The new platform comes in line with new technology which allows users to tell bots to complete a number of tasks by making use of specific phrases which the bot can understand. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, described bots as ‘the new apps’. Previous attempts at utilising the technology have been made by Microsoft, most recently the controversial Twitter bot Tay, which was created to mimic the style of US Millennials and instead broke the internet with racist and offensive statements.

How will Facebook be using bots?

Facebook is expected to use bots as part of the private Messenger feed; undertaking the same work as a traditional customer service assistant or business representative. The company expect bots to become the future of information and customer service, and the new bot platform reflects that view.

Photo Source: By Abramob igor with additional in-house blog title overlay, [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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