Very slowly, British travellers start to engage with bots

A Kayak.co.uk study into the British traveller reveals some long-term grains of optimism when it comes to bots despite the fact that, presently, more than half the country hasn’t heard about them.

The questions about bots revealed some positive growth over the past year, hardly a surprise since bots only came of age last May when Facebook opened its Messenger platform.

The survey found that 2% of Brits describe themselves as “regular users” of bots with a further 6% having used one in the past month. Another 6% said they have used a bot within the past year.

The sample was asked about its bot use a year ago, and 3% said they were regular users then. Kayak, rather bullishly, suggests that “with double that number having used a chatbot in the last four weeks, it seems that that this is a technology growing in popularity.” Read more

Facebook Wants to Merge AI Systems for a Smarter Chatbot

The framework, called ParlAI, offers researchers a simpler way to build conversational AI systems, and to combine different approaches to machine dialogue. The framework should make it easier for developers to build chatbots that aren’t so easily stumped by an unexpected question. A common criticism of the chatbots released to date, including those available via Facebook, is that they are too narrowly focused and too easily confused. Read more

TripAdvisor Debuts Facebook Messenger Chatbot for User-Generated Recommendations

Combining artificial intelligence, user-generated content and messaging capabilities, TripAdvisor has launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that provides recommendations for restaurants, attractions, hotels and flights.

While TripAdvisor makes its recommendations within its chatbot on Facebook Messenger, the booking part takes place on TripAdvisor.com.

If you chat with TripAdvisor on your mobile device, asking about the best vegetarian restaurants in San Juan, Puerto Rico, you get a list of 10 dining recommendations, replete with photos, a ranking, information on the pricing and cuisine, and whether the establishment is open. Read more

Reliance Jio Demos Chatbots Inside Jio4GVoice App at MWC 2017

While the focus at Mobile World Congress every year tends to be on devices, the event is also a great chance to catch a glimpse of upcoming trends and technologies that are likely to grab headlines over the next couple of years.

Like recent years, Hall 8.1 at MWC was the venue for App Planet, where startups from around the world showcase their latest software solutions, and the three big trends this year were analytics, mobile ads, and chatbots. While the likes of Nokia and Samsung may have been absent from this hall, there was no shortage of journalists and business owners trying to discover the hidden gems to help take their respective stories forward.

Away from the madness of Hall 8.1, a different kind of ‘startup’ – the world’s richest one, perhaps, and one with an Indian connection – Reliance Jio, was showcasing chatbots of its own that could soon find their way to an Android phone near you. At the GSMA Innovation City in Hall 4, Jio was demonstrating four chatbots – JioNews, JioWiki, JioDine, and JioCafe, running inside the Jio4GVoice app – that Jio users will soon be able to interact with to get answers on their general queries, to catch up on news, or to look up restaurants and book a table. Read More

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

Chatbot Market – 97.5% in the Market’s Revenue is an Indicator of the Extremely Consolidated Nature of the Market

The global chatbot market is expected to be driven by the giant strides made in the field of artificial intelligence over the past decade. It becoming easier to implement high-end artificial intelligence in common consumer electronics, thereby allowing players in the global chatbot market to attain a far greater consumer pool than before. Read More

Why retailers should embrace ‘conversational commerce’

Imagine an era in which customers place an order by speaking a few words to an artificial intelligence (AI) agent, or send a short chat message to a chatbot to quickly solve a customer service issue without the need for human interaction. This era is upon us, as the conversational commerce revolution has produced new, exciting ways for brands like 1-800-Flowers.com, Harry & David, Fannie May and The Popcorn Factory to use cognitive computing systems and AI to interact with consumers seamlessly and naturally. Read more