OT is such a simple sounding three-lettered word, yet its varied applications exceed a billion ways. A simple software program that was created six decades back is currently at a stage of mimicking human actions at an unimaginable level. However, it is still far from reaching its pinnacle of realization in performance and utilization, in all viable streams of life and varied domains.
BOT can be a boon or a curse
for the end-user based on how we enable its features and capabilities. So, an ethical decision on how we put it to use, needs to be answered by respective enablers. The vast majority of its application is mostly for better purposes. Still, there are also bad implementations that we often encounter in our internet world, like spam, impersonator, hacker BOTs, etc. These BOTs are used to spread malware, steal data and spread malicious content, and many more.
AI has skyrocketed BOT's reach, scope, features, opportunities, and applicability in a multitude of verticals. In modern-day, all of us are living in a world of BOTS knowingly or unknowingly. We are micromanaging most of our daily routine and mundane tasks by depending on BOT applications to automate them for convenience and ease. A simple example is: Playing your favorite genre/kind of music or song, to relax and comfort yourself in a hectic work-day - through music streaming applications on a mobile phone, is a BOT application.
BOT - A popularly known Term
The commonly used term BOT arose from the word ROBOT—a synonym for Intelligent Agent. A human conversation simulator powered by Artificial Intelligence to emulate human conversation ability. Most BOTs communicate using voice chat to personalize the interaction.
BOTS - Inception Period
RPA BOTs ( Robotic Process Automation ) - A software BOT is used to automate all kinds of repetitive, manual, and interactive tasks across different teams in an organization. It serves across all verticals to assist the employees and management in lessening their process time, thus improving efficiency.
A typical application of RPA BOTs in Call Centres, mimics human conversation by matching user inputs to scripted responses. The applicable areas further expand to - Policy administration and servicing, System access and setup payroll, credit card, and form processing.
A.I. in BOT
Artificial intelligence allows the BOT to emulate Human-like responses and have access to petabytes of data over the internet to learn from. They are thus giving it the possibility of adapting, learning and simulating a human brain. BOTs use natural language processing (NLP) and process user requests and respond accordingly.
In the current decade, with extended ease of access, availability, and affordability of technology, sources, and internet; the use of smart devices worldwide has spiked! Hence Major-Tech Giants adapted these cognitive BOTs, within their various services and products portfolio to fascinate the common man with unlimited features - within an infinite plane of the digital world. These BOTs are now operational in our homes, businesses, cars, and many other places. It further popularized the consumption of digital devices like smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs, smart refrigerators, and home control devices - thus fueling the creation of innovative BOT features using AI and ML. Incorporating machine learning, automated speech recognition(ASR) and natural language processing (NLP) a significant headway in cognitive capabilities of BOTs was possible. ASR processes speech to text, and NLP further processes text to comprehend the meaning. These BOTs now have a prime position and importance in our everyday life.
Current Day Virtual Assistants
The advancement in BOTs gave a kick start to MNC's investing in BOT Technology to get into the Autonomous field from Automation. Use cases ranging from performing basic automation at Companies, to being an intelligent agent (IA) - a virtual assistant for everybody was made possible.
A plethora of actions are at the fingertips on your smartphone. Most of us use BOT applications in Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana; for automating, scheduling, playing, searching, managing, and handling many repetitive tasks. They are amongst the most commonly used virtual assistants with evolved cognitive abilities
BOTs use UI to answer the questions, make recommendations, recognize and respond to voice commands.
IBM's Watson Assistant - IBM's AI system developed for a quiz show Jeopardy in 2011. IBM Watson features assist build, train, and deploy conversational interactions for any application in the cloud environment. It is advanced enough to know when to direct to the human controller.
Types of BOTs
- Social BOTS - Used in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to influence the discussions, messaging, postings, and interactions to keep the user engaged with followers, audio-visual recommendations, retweet, commenting, etc. Tay BOT is developed by using Microsoft AI ChatBOT and is used on Twitter. Find more details about TayBot: https://twitter.com/tayandyou
- Music BOTS - In music streaming applications, BOTS are often used to perform various basic tasks such as Streaming radio and high-quality music from multiple sources. This is done by web crawling into the world wide web 24/7, shuffling, and queuing playlists based on user music preferences. Few examples of such BOTS are Rhythm, FredBoat, Groovy.
- Malicious BOTS - Typical examples here are - HackerBots, which are used to attack web stores and websites. They also deceive individuals by inflicting personal computers with harmful viruses, exploiting security vulnerabilities.
- Spam BOTS - These are often used to inject malicious content or narrative over the web, to make users visit fake websites and steal user information.
- Scrapper BOTS - These are used to capture end-user personal details like mobile number, name, images, email address, etc., illegally from fake websites and unreliable websites. Thus, monetizing them through advertising and sometimes selling data on the dark web.
- Impersonators - They mimic humans and make it hard for the end-user to know the real user's identity and promote false opinions and narratives on the web majorly on social media platforms. As stated in USC News: “They are bots — those fake accounts that flood Twitter with automatically generated content, and they made up nearly one-fifth of the political discourse on the microblogging service this campaign season, according to the newly published findings by computer scientists at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute.”
- ChatBOTS - An alternative Human-AI interactive solution to provide the end-user a pleasant and quick experience. On a large scale, many business-related human interactions are being automated using chatbots to perform complex conversations and maintain excellent customer/employee relationships. Mostly used in Human Services and Customer Service in various sectors including - entertainment zone of Games and Music. These bots can be embedded in multiple applications to solve both personal and business purposes.
BOT in Autonomous Vehicles
AI-enabled Intelligent BOTs are reportedly being used in Autonomous Vehicles by Google and Tesla. As stated in techcrunch - “Driver Assistance and Automation: Self-driving systems were failing when it was foggy, because they were unable to differentiate between heavy fog and a rock. Now, unsupervised learning and the ability to create synthetic data (led by the likes of Nvidia) are starting to be used to train the system on corner cases that even billions of recorded driving miles cannot uncover”.
Horizon of BOT's reach
With the integration of ever-evolving technology like AI with BOTs, varied applications have no boundaries. It will not be a fallacy to say in a decade or two; we will live in a BOT World that intertwines with the digitally interconnected world. In contrast, BOTs usage becomes inevitable rather than essential.
Create your BOT - DIY from BOT BUDDIES
With the current aggressive use of BOTs by everybody in a world of interconnected devices, MNCs got into the BOT Market to promote their services/brand to the current and potential customers. This is done through their apps and products coupled with BOT creation.
List of companies offering BOT making services to create your BOT.
- Microsoft - Microsoft BOT Framework
- Google - Dialogflow
- Amazon - Amazon Lex
- Facebook - Wit.ai
Steps to Create Your own FAQ BOT with basic features using Dialogflow. No coding skills needed to create a BOT and experience the fun.
1. Use your Google Account, If you don't have one create a new one.
2. Sign In to Dialogflow. Click Here
3. After sign-in, Create a new Agent.
4. Next get access to Knowledge Base to use in BOT creation.
5. Enable Beta features and APIs in Agent Settings Page.
6. Create a new Knowledge Base
7. Creating Knowledge Base - Base1.
8. Create a new document in your knowledge base by adding a data source.
9. Add the Data source( Click Here ) in the url section. This adds Google’s Default FAQ questions bank to the Knowledge Base BASE1.
10. To add multiple data sources create new documents. To add your custom data source, converting into CSV format is mandatory by selecting Mime type as CSV.
11. Now Add responses and enable the fulfilment.
12. Now Enable the knowledge base.
13. To view your BOT online go the Integrations and enable the webdemo.
14. Check the BOT yourself. Click Here