AI and the rise of messaging apps

AI… Long has it been associated with that classic film ‘The Terminator’ and the rise of the machines. It’s been seen as something incredibly futuristic, a concept that’s always sounded like an amazing idea but always just out of reach.

But…

There has been a turning point over the last couple of years and AI has become more and more of a reality and less science fiction. In fact, it’s being used right now across the world in lots of different ways, and it’s even made its way into our homes on an almost mass scale.

Yes, that’s right, AI is in your home right now!

If you have an iphone then you will have SIRI Apple’s AI assistant in your pocket. If you have an Amazon Echo in your house then you have Alexa Amazon’s AI in your house. Actually, you would be surprised by how many daily things you probably do that have been influenced in some way by AI. You get the picture…

One particular aspect of AI we are really interested in is the use of AI in messenger apps. Last week, we took a look at one new platform that is making AI much more accessible to the masses:

Facebook Messenger.

Facebook actually have their own AI assistant, affectionately named ‘M’, which is slowly being rolled out across their user base. Initially, ‘M’, which is integrated into Messenger, will help users with basic actions on Facebook. Actions like sharing your location, sending a sticker or even prompting you to say happy birthday to a friend.

It might seem a little basic at the moment but with the amount of data that companies like Facebook and Google have about us, it won’t be long until AI’s offer more and more innovative features.

Businesses are already taking advantage of Messenger as a platform. It’s actually surprisingly easy if you have some coding knowledge to set up your own chatbot on the Messenger platform.

A chatbot is a very basic AI that will present a message based on the response of a user. So it can be used as a way of offering support to customers or clients.

For example, a legal firm has just installed a new chatbot designed to help potential clients around the website using Messenger.

Someone may type in, ‘Where can I find information on property law?’. The chatbot would recognise keywords like ‘property law’ and ‘find’ and it would respond with the most appropriate pre-programmed response.

You could even set the bot to ask people questions and take a user on a journey through the website based on yes and no responses.

E-commerce websites like shopify are already jumping on board with the Messenger tool, allowing their thousands of merchants to use it as a way to communicate with customers about their own online shops.

It’s just a matter of time until Messenger rolls out across more and more industries and businesses. Even in the B2B sector, you can see how Messenger could be useful.

In the future, it’s pretty likely that the other big internet players will be bringing out their own consumer facing versions of Messenger and AI. In fact, as most of them have their own AI’s already, it won’t be long at all.

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