From Siri to Cortana, Ask Viola to Growbot, chat bots are here to stay and grow. But do they really make life easier for everyone? Bot developers in Singapore are investing in creating the human touch in most fields of work and fun. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also increasingly the focus of many software giants.
- Say no to apps: Downloading various apps for different tasks may be a thing of the past thanks to the bots. Just downloading the chat bot and the usual social media forums like Facebook, Messenger and Telegram would be enough. In the future, the chat bots could completely replace the apps on Android and IPhones but for now many are still in the infant stages.
- Book a flight: If you find visiting the airlines apps or the booking sites cumbersome, just download the Book Flights chat bot. The bot will begin by asking your current location and the destination. The date input would be required next and the bot presents the best deals on flights for your chosen journey. Once the selection is made, a link can take you to the booking site.
- Encourage the team: Looking for some encouragement for your team at work? Growbot is an interesting chat bot that is designed to offer praise and encourage team work. You could begin by adding the chat bot to the group in Slack. The bot provides interactive pointers to encourage team work, besides offering praise. The basic version of this chat bot has three words of praise, including kudos, props and cheers. The advanced version has unlimited words of praise for the employees. In the advanced version, it is also possible to custom make the appreciation words.
- Schedule meetings: Busy and have no time to schedule important meetings? The meeting scheduler bot can do this for you. Called Meekan, this chat bot is available on Slack. It bases its work on the Google calendar, office 365 and iCloud among others. Connection with Microsoft outlook is also in the pipeline. The scheduler bot facilitates the organisation of meetings in the group. It looks for common available time frames for all the members of the group and accordingly makes suggestions. The bot asks you to pick the best schedule, else a voting on the most preferred schedule is also possible ! Meekan can also double as a personal office assistant by limiting the meetings to a comfortable level in a day.
- Find your food: If food is always on your mind, download Tasteful, a food bot integrated with Facebook Messenger. The bot has a huge database of foods, recipes and dishes in more than 250,000 restaurants, spread over 8000 cities worldwide. You can set your diet preferences including gluten or sugar free, vegan , low carb and so on. Although available only in USA currently, it won’t be long before others explore this bot.
- Shopping assistant: The shopping bot, Ask Viola takes you wherever you need to go across the digital shopping avenues. The bot is available on Facebook Messenger and helps you select from a range of products based on your request.
- Tax help: Have a tax query ? Talk to Joanne, the chat bot on the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore or IRAI.
There are many other chat bots on the horizon, including ones that help with banking and weather updates. Playing fun games with the interactive bots and getting grants for you small businesses are some of the other things smart bots can do. As technology progresses, there seems to be no limit to what the bots can do to make our lives easier
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Also published on Medium.