We hear the word a lot nowadays: bots. But what does bot mean, and how will they impact our lives in the future? What exciting things can we look forward to in the future in this industry?
To put it simply, “bot” is short-form for robot. So a bot can be any robot, and there are many different types of bots out there. We have voice-bots, chat-bots, web crawlers, and many more. You can use a bot to get things done faster — for example, book a ticket online, check the weather, find a discount, or even develop lesson plans for language courses.
The applications for bots are seemingly endless, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on how bots are emerging in the fields of education, transportation, medicine, and finance.
You can find a number of chatbots in a range of apps that can help in academic and recreational learning. Nerdify’s Nerdy Bot is one such example. It works within Facebook Messenger, and provides answers to students’ questions so they can research without needing to use a search engine. It can also lookup definitions, solve equations, and plot graphs.
Duolingo is an example of a chatbot for recreational learning, offering users bite-sized gamified lessons to learn specific languages. It also allows users to use text message conversations to encourage conversational learning while providing help if they get stuck.
Medical science is another industry where bots can be extremely helpful. Bots are being used to create virtual healthcare assistants that can personalize the patient’s experience. They’re also being used for analytics and research, as well as customer support, and can also be useful in scheduling physician appointments.
Melody by Baidu is an app designed to collect medical information from a patient and pass it onto a doctor in a format that makes it easier for them to use it for diagnoses. MeditateBot is designed to help its users stay calm and meditate.
Financial institutions are now looking into using AI technology to handle various financial operations including general accounting operations, stock market investments, managing properties, and more. Bots can also perform repetitive processes and free employees up to focus on higher-level tasks, such as decision making.
Chatbots are now also a powerful tool for the transportation industry due to improvements in computing and access to real-time data. For example, in the supply chain industry, this means being able to optimize time management and improve processes so that the time from factory to the customer is minimized. LoadTap is an example of a bot being used in this industry. And, according to RocketBots, “In late 2016, UPS revealed a beta version of an AI-enabled customer chatbot that could direct users towards UPS franchises, provide real-time shipping rates, and help customers to track their packages.”
The applications for bots are endless — and as more development takes place in this field, people may soon stop wondering, “What does bot mean?” and start wondering what bots can do for them.