A ‘Bot’ (reduced version of ‘Robot’) is a software or computer program that was programmed to perform certain tasks simulating human activity.
Bots are generally used to automate tasks and processes. They can operate without the need to receive instructions from a human. In most cases, the activities they perform are repetitive.
How do bots work?
Bots generally operate through a network. They communicate with each other through Internet services (Instant Messaging, interfaces, Internet Relay Chat).
They are made up of sets of algorithms that help them perform their designated tasks. These tasks can consist of interacting with a human, as well as collecting content from a website, among others.
What types of bots are there?
– Social bots
These are bots that simulate human activity and are part of discussions on social networks with the aim of distributing content on a particular topic and, in this way, influencing the opinion of users.
They are programs that locate the best price on the web for a product that a user is interested in buying.
These programs collect information for a user by automatically visiting websites and extracting data that follows a specific criteria.
They are bots that go through web pages links automatically and systematically. They have a group of URLs (seeds) and download the web pages associated with the seeds. then they look within these for other URLs that they download again. The search engine creates an index of downloaded pages in order to speed up searches.
– Malicious Bots (malware)
These bots are used to automate actions that are considered cybercrimes.
Examples of them are:
Spambots: They post advertising to drive traffic to a certain website.
Denial-of-service bots: They overload the server resources so that it does not work
Hackers: Bots that distribute malware, attack websites, or collect sensitive user information.
It is possible to prevent these attacks by:
- Installing anti-malware software
- Installing a bot manager
- Using firewall
- Updating software
– Transactional bots
These bots are created to act as a human. They must interact with systems to perform tasks that typically involve data movement.
These programs have the ability to simulate conversations with a human.
There are many examples of them. Some of the most interesting are:
DoNotPay: This is a Chatbot that simulates the behaviour of a lawyer and whose objective (or that of its developers) is to empower its users to manage legal problems easily without hiring lawyers, in addition to learning more about their rights as citizens.
Endurance: It is a Chatbot whose objective is the detection of short-term memory loss in patients with Alzheimer’s. To do this, it monitors abrupt changes in your conversations using natural language processing (NLP) techniques.
MedWhat: It is a Chatbot that answers medical or health questions made by both patients and medical personnel. The answers are generated by a supercomputer that uses artificial intelligence to learn about medical treatments and diagnoses using the patient’s medical history and history of medical questions. MedWhat also studies medical research papers.
How can I implement a Chatbot in my business?
Analyse customer needs –
The implementation of a Chatbot should tend to improve the user experience. That is why it is recommended to carry out surveys, analyses and research in order to define the needs and expectations of users.
Define a platform for Chatbot integration –
A Chatbot can be integrated with numerous platforms due to its flexibility. Therefore, it is necessary to determine which application is the most suitable for the target audience.
Choose a group of developers to work together on the Chatbot implementation –
Select the most appropriate technologies for the development of the Chatbot –
Some of them are: Chatfuel, Botsify, Flow XO, Motion.ai, among others.
Test and implement –
What are the advantages of implementing a bot?
- They are faster than humans in repetitive activities
- They are available 24/7
- They allow you to reach numerous customers through messaging applications
- They are customizable
- They improve the user experience
What do you think about bots? What do you think you could use them for in your business?