Personalization: Chatbots

Chatbots (or chatting bots) are computer programs that simulate human conversations, or chat, through artificial intelligence. Chatbot is a composition of the words “to chat”, describing a human conversation or messaging, and (ro)bot. A robot is an artificial intelligence which is capable to learn, to reason and to self-correct.

A Chatbot understands the context, the situation, the place and the social background. The bot adapts to the user. So, the more a chatbot is used the more personalized and useful it becomes.

Maybe it’s the beginning of a brand new era — there was web, then mobile, apps and now bots. It is an incredibly powerful paradigm shift.

David Marcus (Facebook Messenger boss)

Examples for Chatbots:

  • Google Assistant is Google’s latest iteration of a virtual assistant. It’s considered an extension of Google Now – designed to be personal. The assistant is conversational – an ongoing two-way dialogue between the user and Google that understands the user’s world and helps him get things done.
  • The chatting bot Tay was built by Microsoft. The bot’s aim was to learn about the way of talking of American teenagers in Social Networks. It was capable to mimic behaviour, learning to engage people through „casual and playful conversation“. Unfortunately, the bot started repeating racialist sentiments back to users, that users twittered. It was turned off just by Microsoft just 16 hours after its start.
  • When Facebook announced bots for Messenger the weather cat Poncho was one of the most talked-about examples. It gives the user personalized weather information. While some found him to be extremely bad at weather-forecasting a group of investors led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures has put $2 Million seed funding into Poncho to help it become better. The bot is one of the 11,000 from Facebook’s Bot-Plattform for the Messenger.


by Maximiliane Paulus, Christina Scheben, Fredrik Larsson, Stefanie Rager