What is a BOT ?
A BOT is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts). Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. More than half of all web traffic in today’s world is made up of bots.
A Few Real Life Scenarios
Cost Estimation – In the IT industry, estimating the costs for using a technology in a project is a lengthy and Time consuming process. This also requires multiple follow-ups with different departments at the same time.
Booking Conference Rooms – It is 11:48AM and you are presenting to your leadership at noon. Just your luck, people arrive in the room you have been sitting in all day and claim they have it reserved….. Great, you got the boot.
How about doing things differently? – A ChatBOT
Imagine a digital computer bot (short for “robot”) that acts as a Virtual Assistant by doing all these things and more. A chatbot service that serves as a one stop shop for managing all your cost estimations for different technologies & conference room needs.
Is this possible?
Definitely, YES. Look at tools such as Facebook Messenger, Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa that automate conversations between systems and humans — at least the beginning stages of it. These chatbots turns natural language into structured data. This means bots can not only parse your conversational language but they can very much learn from it, becoming better and better over time.
Introducing IGuru – A CHATBOT
As a Proof of Concept, at MResult we designed such a bot or service. His name is IGuru. He is able to transform data into words that sound quite real. Not yet the kind of bot I envisioned, but it is the first step.
Among other things, he can:
- Converse: Interact with employees in natural language to understand their conference room management and cost estimation needs
- Execute: Reserve and cancel rooms on behalf of the users by pushing desired changes in the reservation system. Calculates cost estimation based on your inputs and an ever-evolving algorithm.
- Locate: Use geo-location to contextualize and infer users’ location needs, enabling faster experience in the reservation & cost estimation process.
Such a bot that can make your life easy is a welcome sight nowadays. It makes hours of manual interaction obsolete. It executes its tasks in seconds. Its output is almost error free and it is cheaper than typical Web applications to host..
Can’t stop the Bot revolution
What we have discussed so far is just scratching the surface of the potential that these intelligent bots have. Bots can be deployed for reservations, placing orders, help desks, emergency helplines and the list can go on and on.
Customers always want the best experience. Imagine not having to wait half an hour to speak to an agent when you lose your credit card. Businesses understand this and seek new ways to improve customer experience and reduce costs. They will invest into bots to achieve these goals.
This naturally brings a question. Are bots going to take our jobs away? Yes and No. As always, we can’t stop technology. There will be low skill tasks and jobs that will be taken away by bots.
However we believe that when one door closes, another opens. The technology industry has time and again been proof of that. Every new disruptive technology has opened up newer avenues or allowed us to move on to the next big problem.
What do you think? Are bots a good thing or not?