Over the past year, bots have been a widely discussed topic. Experts and the media have been weighing the possible benefits bots can create for businesses as well as consumers. The U.S. market has expressed a high interest in bots. Products like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Allo Messenger, and Siri SDK are all technologies that are leading the battleground of this bot war. While bots and systems that benefit from AI and recurrent neural networks are not a new technology, 2016 was the year that most of the big players increased their attention and invested more money into AI and machine learning systems. With all the buzz around them, it can sometimes to be tricky to nail down just what a bot is.
Bots, or conversational UI’s are autonomous services humans can interact with using natural language in existing messaging apps. Amir Shevat, the developer relations lead at Slack defines bots as “digital users within a messaging product. Unlike most users, they are powered by software rather than by a human, and they bring a product or service into a given messaging product via conversation.”
Since companies have been reinvesting in bots there have been significant improvements in technology. The BBC predicts that nearly half of the most commonly held careers are at a significant risk of being replaced by automation by 2035. Here are a few examples:
- Web Designer/Web Developer: (via The Grid) The AI behind The Grid will take designing and coding away from web designers and developers. With just a few photos, it can turn an idea into action in just a few steps. It makes it changes based on human feedback.
- Office Manager: (via Betty) AI will soon be managing your offices. Betty is an intelligent bot who is in charge of greeting guests, staff and tracking employee hours. She is also in charge of stocking office materials.
- Psychologist: (via Ellie) Ellie is an Ai therapist that uses sensors to read a patient’s body language and respond like a human. She is capable of smiling, nodding and shrugging at appropriate times via her screen’s human avatar.
- Human Resources: (via FlatPi) This is the ultimate headhunter! FlatPi is able to filter through tons of candidates in seconds and is therefore transforming the way companies hire. It allows you to hire, track, manage interview and choose the candidate all in the same place and in a less time consuming way.
While all of this new technology is exciting, the most important question is, how long before new technologies take over all of our jobs?