Andrey Khorsev: There are very few really useful bots

26 July 2017
Andrey Khorsev: There are very few really useful bots

With the increase of the messenger popularity, a huge number of chatbots have appeared. However, there are very few really high-quality and useful programs among them. On his Facebook page, the co-founder of 908 and Opendatabot, Andrey Khorsev elaborated on the types of chatbots and which of them are really useful.

6 types of chatbots

1. Bots with artificial intelligence

It seemed that they had to pass the Turing test straight off the reel, replace the support staff, sellers, etc. In fact, AI bots are unable to support the conversation even in a highly specialized topic. They get confused, answer incorrectly or write that they do not understand the question.

2. Push button bots

These bots are based on a pre-scripted scenario, suggesting users to select possible answers. If the script is well-thought, it seems that the bot is smart. Unfortunately, there are very few quality scenarios.

3. Bots for forms filling

On the one hand, programs designed to automate the routine task of filling out all kinds of forms are convenient, but in fact people still need to answer a number of questions.

4. Showcase bots

Initially, Facebook Messenger was designed for selling bots. However, when Zuckerberg realized that they were too intrusive and not interesting to anyone, the platform was reoriented for the entertainment bots. Now the messenger is working under the principle: first entertain, then sell.

5. Bots for answering questions

In fact, this is an attempt to re-invent search engines. However, it is unclear why users should communicate with the bot rather than searching information on Google.

6. Bots to pay for goods

To use payment bots, you need to bind the card to it, and pay extra fee for the transaction. Quite uncomfortable and no anonymity.

How to make a good bot?

Khorsev writes that a good bot provides users with useful information, and notification system is to be customizable. The bot should answer a specific question or automatically send out the latest news.

Two useful scripts for the bot:

  1. Bot monitors the queue for the good or service and notifies users when there is free space. Much-needed are bots for monitoring electronic queues for getting a passport, buying tickets, when booking is forfeited, etc.
  2. Bots for informing people and companies about some events. For example, Opendatabot promptly notifies the company's management if it finds information about changes in the company's registration data, accrual of tax debt, imposition of sanctions, etc.

Useful bots include:

  • railwaybot for tracking railway tickets;
  • igov_bot for searching for a queue place to get a biometric passport;
  • Bots for tracking parcels at Nova Poshta.
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