Dan Grover, a former WeChat Project Manager (we highlighted this great post by him some weeks ago), is joining Facebook. Another sign that shows Facebook is serious about bots.
Remember that, tomorrow, we are giving away 1 free ticket ($800 value) for the Talkabot conference: in Austin, 18th July. Ping us to enter the lottery, and you’ll know if you got it by tomorrow. Your bot-aware friends can participate, too, just hit the "Forward" link below!
I took this photo at a bot meetup in NY last week. It's a good overview of the landscape:
Unrelated Pro tip: just say you're building a bot that's gonna leverage AI and machine learning, and you’re guaranteed to appear in press. Even if your bot just does a simple exchange of 5 pre-programmed messages with a couple of buttons. Yup.
Microsoft is putting so much effort into chatbots (Skype, Cortana, LUIS, etc) that I understand the statement of their CEO, Satya Nadella: “So pretty much everyone today who is building applications whether they be mobile apps or desktop apps or websites will build bots as the new interface, where you have a human dialogue interface versus menus of the past”. They’re going all-in.
I appreciate when bot authors put the time to release some stats, which are pretty scarce at the time. This post focuses primarily on new features, but here’s an interesting data-point about the reaction to a message they sent to a set of users out of the blue: “We had 30% of people respond to the conversation within a 15 minutes window. 95% of them finished the conversation flow and wanted to continue to get more in the future. Only 1 person blocked Poncho”.
Sending and receiving money in conversations will be a reality soon. It may seem Facebook wants to directly compete against Venmo and Paypal, but their goal is for business to get paid by consumers on Messenger and Facebook. Potentially fee-less, while business may pay for being featured. It’s clear that this capability is coming to bots. Not yet, though!
Cute little bot to find flights. Their NLP is a little rudimentary, and they are not yet leveraging the latest airline-related widgets. But it’s a start. Booking.com announced a bot, but it’s not widely deployed yet.