A website chatbot is basically a program that is used to run an online chat conversation through either text or voice-to-voice, rather than giving direct physical contact to an actual human agent. Rather than typing chat bot commands like "I miss you", the user actually types the command and then says it out loud, followed by a bot reply. There are limits to the sorts of programs that can be used, but it can be anything from a simple dictionary search to an extensive database of common phrases and words. A chat bot is, essentially, a virtual assistant.
Chat Bots come in a wide range of complexity and capability. The most basic chat bots simply copy other chat messages into a separate file, before storing it for future use. More advanced chat bot programs are capable of sophisticated speech synthesis, grammar, and spelling checking, and can even hold conversations on real-world topics. Some programs are so sophisticated that they can even interact with users and send them messages in response. These are generally referred to as "personal assistants", and can be used for a wide variety of activities on the Internet, including business and personal communication.
The idea of having an artificially intelligent chat bot is not new, but progress has been made in recent years. As more industries are able to use artificial intelligence to improve their operation, chat bots are likely to see an increase in capabilities in the future. An easy example is Google's Picasa. This software program allows people to upload photos and then Picasa displays them within the browser. People can also chat with others on Picasa and, when they wish, they can share their photos with all those viewing them.
Much of this research was done with computer science, especially with artificial intelligence. However, the work has also been done with natural language processing. Natural language processing refers to the ability of a machine to understand how it should say the words it is talking. An easy example of this is the English to AI translator project, which uses databases of books and websites to build an artificial intelligence engine capable of translating basic phrases in English into enough language for a computer to understand.
With chat bots are becoming more popular and even being talked about on the Oprah Winfrey talk show, we now know that chat bots will soon be able to handle all sorts of media. Will humans ever be able to do this? Well, that may be possible in the future, but even if it is not possible today, that certainly doesn't mean it isn't possible in the future. After all, AI was designed to deal with all sorts of situations and problems, even those that were not even around in the distant past.
Another area in which chat bots will soon be able to take part is the Internet. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have already been working on a project in which they are using chat bots to help Internet users find what they need. Say, for instance, that you are in a hurry to get to work and don't want to leave your desk. When you use a website chatbot for Internet search, rather than typing in your home address, the bot will search Google for information based on certain keywords.
Will the new chat bot AI robots ever replace real people when completing transactions on the Internet? That seems unlikely. Still, it shows that technology is moving forward and that it is possible to complete tasks through automated systems. Will it ever replace real people, only humans? I wouldn't say so, but I also believe that computers can be used to help us become more creative and also help us feel more creative.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this chat bot from Google is its conversational nature. You tell the chat bot what you want to purchase, and then it will begin to formulate a plan for you. It may even suggest options to make your life easier. The potential here is truly amazing.