As Messenger’s bots lose steam, Facebook pushes menus over chat

Facebook’s Messenger bots may not be having the impact the social network desired. Just yesterday, online retailer Everlane, one of the launch partners for the bot platform, announced it was ditching Messenger for customer notifications and returning to email. Following this, Facebook today announced an upgraded Messenger Platform, which introduces a new way for users to interact with bots: via simple persistent menus, including those without the option to chat with the bot at all. Read more

Facebook Messenger bots are going to get a lot more verbose

Facebook’s next updates for Messenger have a big focus on bots. Yep, Zuck is still trying to make “fetch” happen with those. Anyhow, the newest bits for the platform are mostly about letting others know that a bit of text originated from. That means from a shared bit of bot text will allow you to start a conversation with said bot from your existing conversation window. Even if you’re using Messenger from desktop. In addition to a bunch of other developer-centric notes is word that the bot text limit has been doubled. So yeah, jumping from 320 characters to 640 means that the bots are about to get a lot more chatty. Read more

Artificial Intelligence based speakers by Amazon Echo or Google home make a smart home

Technology has moved past the stage where remotes made our lives easier. As technology has evolved, our products are getting smarter. While in the past you could press a few buttons on the remote and switch on things, companies are now trying to innovate to the point where instead of starting your app you can just direct your digital assistant to take care of things. Read more

Artificial intelligence finds its way into business through sales

Artificial intelligence (AI) had a coming out party of sorts in 2016. Even though it has been in development for decades, this year, with the perfect combination of cheap computing power and access to increasing amounts of data, it seems AI’s time has come.

Its first foray in business has been directed at making salespeople more efficient at every level of the sales workflow. If you think about it, it makes sense to start with the part of the company that drives revenue. Certainly the vendors recognize that, says Alan Lepofsky, an analyst at Constellation Research, who is working on the impact of AI on work. Read more

Gupshup partners with Google to bring actions to the Google Assistant

Gupshup, the bot platform, has announced a partnership with Google to enable enterprises to quickly and easily build for Actions on Google, Google’s development interface for the Google Assistant. Using Gupshup’s cross-platform development tools, bot builders can now create and deploy bots, or ‘Actions’, for the Google Assistant. One of the early Google Assistant actions to come to Google Home is from VentureBeat, the leading source of technology and chatbot news. Developed in coordination with Gupshup, the bot will be available to consumers later this month. Read more

 

Artificial intelligence slowly making its way into travel biz

Artificial intelligence (AI), which many experts predict will have an enormous impact on the travel industry, is becoming a reality not in the form of blockbuster apps but as a slow, steady trickle of apps, features and technological innovations.

The pace of its progress was measured recently by a London School of Economics study, which identified AI and big data as “key disruptive factors shaping the travel distribution industry over the next decade.” But the resulting report also noted that those factors have yet to spark major changes. Read more

Why ‘talk to our chatbot’ will replace ‘send us an email’

I’m known to be a bit negative about email. When you receive a few hundred of them a day, it tends to make you a little skittish, even a little depressed. Yet, it’s still my primary form of communication, especially when I’m trying to find answers to problems. In our highly digitized world, it’s amazing we still use asynchronous communication so often.

Here’s my big problem with how this all works. When you send a message, there’s no way of knowing if the recipient is doing anything about it. Sure, there are apps for this. In marketing, it’s an art form. Even Outlook can generate a “read receipt,” but I’m talking about getting an immediate response that tells you what kind of action the message recipient is going to take. Instead, we send an email and hope someone eventually reads it and responds in a way that is actually useful. Read more

Oracle is also getting in on the chatbot revolution

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison ordered himself some new business cards on stage at the company’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Sunday, just by having a conversation.

As part of his keynote address to attendees, Ellison took the time to show off a new set of tools for creating intelligent chatbots that integrate with Oracle’s software. It’s aimed at making it easier for businesses to build bots that let users connect with their enterprise software, and help businesses connect with consumers. Read more