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Facebook Bets big on Messenger Bots

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Facebook now allows developers to build bots inside Facebook Messenger, bringing a range of new functions to the popular communication app. Facebook believes Messenger can become a primary channel for businesses to interact with their customers, replacing 1-800 numbers with a mix of artificial intelligence and human intervention. If they are embraced by the general public — which is still far from certain — bots could represent a major new channel for commerce, customer support, and possibly even media.

Mark Zuckerberg showed bots from CNN and 1-800-FLOWERS. The CNN bot sent news stories that became personalized over time; the flowers demo showed an interaction where a person ordered flowers using conversational language. “You never have to call 1-800-FLOWERS again,” Zuckerberg said. Read more

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