Articles about chatbot

Theresa May glass of water photo via Shutterstock

What do voters want? An IRL Maybot? Sure, give that a whirl

A local Tory candidate has suggested the party creates a chatbot to up its digital cred and boost engagement with voters. Its name? Theresa Maybot. The idea is mooted in an apparently straight-faced blogpost on Conservative Home by Leon Emirali, a "media entrepreneur" who co-founded digital PR agency Crest and is a candidate …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Jan 2018

Facebook gives its 007s license to kill M, its not particularly intelligent AI

Facebook is axing M, the wobbly digital personal assistant tacked onto its Messenger chat app. A spokesperson for the social network told The Register on Monday: “Today we shared with the people who have access to our M closed beta project, first announced in August 2015, that January 19th is the last day the service will be …
Robot wearing a business suit

IBM asks remaining staff to take career advice from HR-bot

IBM staff are being asked to eat the company's dogfood in the form of an AI-infused career advice chatbot named “Myca”. The Register understands that Myca – an acronym for “My Career Advisor” - was developed in a staff hackfest and is sold as the Watson Career Coach. Multiple IBMers of our acquaintance tell us that a great …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2017

Chatbots: A load of hype or fancy lifehack for the lazy IT person?

It's the age of the chatbot. The chatbot revolution is coming. Unless it isn't. Conversational User Interfaces are still very much on the Innovation Trigger rising curve of Gartner's hype cycle. And the people who are the most hyped up about chatbots seem to be the people that sell platforms to build them on. As chatbots seep …
Sonia Cuff, 21 Sep 2017

Virtual assistant backlash imminent so buy them anyway

Gartner has predicted a backlash against voice assistants like Siri – but recommends that businesses deploy them anyway. This we learn from its "Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace 2017" report, which positions virtual assistants right at the top of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", and about to embark on a dizzying ride …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017
Chairman Mao exhorting chinese workers to do their utmost for the nation

Off-messenger: Chinese chatbot ain't no commie

Two chatbots have reportedly been removed from Chinese messaging app QQ after issuing distinctly unpatriotic answers. According to the Financial Times, chatbots BabyQ and Xiaobing (or Xiaoice) had been available to some of the 800 million users of Tencent's app QQ until Wednesday. However, the pair seem to have been hastily …
Rebecca Hill, 3 Aug 2017

Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH

If you thought artificial intelligence was already overhyped to death, this week will have given you a heart attack. On Monday, excitement levels among hacks hit the roof amid claims Facebook had scrambled to shut down its chatbots after they started inventing their own language. Several publications called the programs “ …
Robot talks unto robot photo via Shutterstock

Facebook tried teaching bots art of negotiation – so the AI learned to lie

Let's be honest, despite last year's burst of hype, chatbots haven’t progressed beyond asking and answering simple questions. Still, researchers aren't letting go of their dream of a perfect digital assistant. If bots are to be really helpful, they’ll need to be more than a dumb user interface. They will have to engage in more …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Jun 2017
Facebook's Mechanical Turk interface for ParlAI

Facebook parlays bot bet into ParlAI dialog framework

Facebook's artificial intelligence research team, which operates under the self-endorsing acronym FAIR, has released an open-source research framework called ParlAI to train bot software to chat more coherently with people. ParlAI, a Python-based tool for developing and evaluating chatbot dialog models, tries to teach bots by …
Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2017
Woman smiling on phone/. photo by shutterstock

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Amazon's voice-controlled assistant Alexa and its Echo devices now sport the ability to take your phone calls – so long as you don't ever plan on ignoring calls from anyone. The Alexa Calling feature, announced by Amazon earlier this week, allows Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa app to place and accept phone calls to and from …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
Slide from Build 2017 bot talk

Bot you see is what you get: The cold reality of Microsoft's chat 'AI'

Build Microsoft's Bot Framework received a minor feature injection at the Windows giant's Build 2017 developer conference, with the addition of Adaptive Cards for cross-platform rich media and support for new channels and the company's payment API. Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence and …
Thomas Claburn, 11 May 2017

Another AI assistant... It's getting crowded in here, isn't it, Siri?

Analysis Voice-activated speakers and digital assistants may just seem like the modern, more annoying version of the old Microsoft paperclip, continually offering help and reminders where they are not needed. But while Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Home/Now and Amazon Echo/Alexa may have a long way to go, we will look back on …

LinkedIn chatbots to help with 'important conversations'

LinkedIn users desperate to climb the greasy pole but unable to come up with necessary corporate small talk to do so, will be able to use chatbots to shoot the shit for them. In an update to its terms and conditions, LinkedIn told users in an email this week that they would be able to opt in to use "productivity bots" from …
Kat Hall, 2 May 2017

CompSci boffins find Reddit is ideal source for sarcasm database

Over here at El Reg, we think that chatbots are, like, the best thing ever. Not. But would they be any better if they could detect sarcasm and retaliate with their own snide remarks? A group of computer scientists from Princeton University, USA, certainly think so. Mikhail Khodak, Nikunj Saunshi and Kiran Vodrahalli, all …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Apr 2017

Please don't call them Facebook chatbots, says Facebook's bot boss

F8 2017 Facebook all but admitted the failure of chatbots last month – with the announcement that developers building Messenger bot can hide text input boxes and offer menu-driven conversations instead. Chatbots were billed by some as the new user interface for apps: rather than tap on icons and swipe through screens, you tell the …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Apr 2017

Hell freezes over: We wrote an El Reg chatbot using Microsoft's AI

Hands on Microsoft has invested big in its Cognitive Services for programmable artificial intelligence, along with a Bot Framework for using them via a conversational user interface. How easy is it to get started? Cognitive Services, the AI piece, was announced at the company’s Build developer conference in April 2015. The initial …
Tim Anderson, 17 Mar 2017

Facebook scales back AI flagship after chatbots hit 70% f-AI-lure rate

So it begins. Facebook has scaled back its ambitions and refocused its application of "artificial intelligence" after its AI bots hit a 70 per cent failure rate. Facebook unveiled a bot API for its Messenger IM service at its developer conference last April. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had high hopes. TenCent's WeChat was …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017
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GitHubbers invited to hack Davis, the microservices chat bot

Dynatrace has launched a virtual digital assistant named Davis which you can talk to using Amazon's Alexa or via text on Slack through a proprietary engine - and has invited devs to take a pop at it. The idea is you quiz Davis on the status of your systems, as opposed to logging in and typing. Behind Davis lies a Node.js …
Gavin Clarke, 7 Feb 2017

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