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The upcoming War between Mobile Apps & Bots

Published on 14 October 15
The old traditional way of communication via Email has eclipsed among youth. Most of the users use interesting messaging apps today like Whatsapp, WeChat, Line, Facebook, Slack, Telegram etc. They are becoming the new platform, considering the role played by the mobile operating system. It is more or less similar to the trend in the mid ‘90s, when the browser replaced the desktop OS as the new platform. Just as websites replaced client applications, now, messaging bots will replace mobile applications.
The upcoming War between Mobile Apps & Bots - Image 1

Introducing Bots

Bots, is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Normally, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.

One of the best examples of a bot is a search engine spider. These bots troll the Web and index new pages for a search engine. Other examples include the original Internet relay chat bots and chatterbots.

Messaging apps are becoming the new platform, subsuming the role played by the mobile operating system. Messaging bots can read and write messages just like humans. Other bots like Food bots order dinner. Content bots share relevant content (e.g., news, weather). Watcher bots notify you when specific events happen (e.g., your flight is delayed, this car needs servicing). Banking and trading bots provide financial services. Workflow bots automate business workflows in sales, HR, operations, admin, finance, etc. Chart bots summarize data in charts suitable for small screens. IoT bots connect us to our smart homes, cars and devices. Concierge bots provide a wide range of services implemented by other bots. And when all of these bots get to be too much, your Personal Assistant bot manages the communication with the other bots for you are escalating only the high-priority requests for which you’ve trained it.
The upcoming War between Mobile Apps & Bots - Image 2
Role of Bots in Messaging Apps
Current message formats are limited to plain text, which require the bots to have natural language processing capabilities to communicate with humans. Natural language isn’t the best way to capture an order, a travel booking, an approval, an invoice, a survey, a registration form or any other structured content. If a message format remains plain text, it either limits the capabilities of the bot or requires multiple iterations to precisely specify the request.

So now we have smart messages that structure content, like mini-web pages, to enable precise and efficient communication between bots and humans. Bots can customize smart messages to render the structured information, to capture user responses and to act further on them. The framework of bots, along with smart messages, enables replication of virtually any site or app onto the platform.

Almost any transaction or workflow can be mapped to the messaging framework.
Messaging bots offer benefits too. Bots send us a message when we need to know or respond to something, but stay invisible otherwise. Bots reside in the cloud and upgrade themselves with new functionality - without any user action. Boats can interact with one another and can be chained together to perform a series of actions in sequence. Bots can supervise other bots, leading to bot hierarchies.
You may choose to delegate authority to bots that act autonomously on your behalf. Your shopping, scheduling, tracking, monitoring and messaging can be automated according to personal preferences. Your bot can even filter advertising messages sent to you - in fact, in a world of perfectly informed bots, traditional advertising may have a diminished role. It’s a brave new bot-filled world, with new possibilities and new risks.

Bots are currently available at a bot store (on Teamchat), not unlike today’s app store. Initiating a conversation with the bot is the same as starting a chat with a friend - no download required.
This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Mobility Community

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