The Next Web: The $24 billion chatbot industry sucks because it needs better AI

The Next Web: The $24 billion chatbot industry sucks because it needs better AI. “In 2014, WIRED would profile a ‘boring’ company called Slack beginning a media and venture-based obsession with bringing chat to every corner of our work lives. Somewhere along the way, the growth of chat-based enterprise communication was conflated with a preference for doing everything in a chat window, and thus we were given chatbots. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would go on to call them ‘the new interface,’ and by 2017 over $24 billion in funding had gone into chatbot companies. A year later, and the landscape of chatbot funding is desolate. And it’s because they were never truly built to solve the many, many problems they were supposedly created to fix.”

The Next Web: I built a bot and now I know why bots are so dumb

The Next Web: I built a bot and now I know why bots are so dumb. “I used Azure Bot Service, LUIS, and Azure Functions to build a chatbot that allows me to control an internet connected LIFX lightbulb in my office. I connected it to my work Slack channel so my co-workers could change the color of my desk lamp or turn it on or off. Then I sat back and waited to marvel in the praise of my peers as they were blown away by the sentient life I had birthed. …and I’m still waiting because none of that happened. While the technology worked just fine, I learned that building chatbot interfaces is not something one just does. There are a lot of pitfalls. So you can share in my humiliation, here are some of the lessons I learned building the Lamp Bot.”

Library of Congress: Linking chatbots to collections for place-based storytelling

Library of Congress: Linking chatbots to collections for place-based storytelling. “The following is a guest post from Library of Congress Labs Innovation Intern, Charlie Moffett. In the course of crafting data-driven narratives with digital collections, he created @govislandbot and an open-source mapping tutorial. Below he shares his processes, some of the challenges he encountered, along with the code.”

Search Engine Journal: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Quick Q&A Chatbot

Search Engine Journal: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Quick Q&A Chatbot. “Today we’re going to build a bot, step-by-step, starting with a simple informational bot based on a template create by Microsoft (my employer). Informational bots make it easy for you to quickly get information via simple text-based chat. In this how-to, we’ll create a bot to answer questions defined in a knowledge set or FAQ using QnA Maker and displayed in a Cortana bot using Azure Bot Service. The best part: it will take 30 minutes or less! And, it requires no coding skills!”

Adweek: Quartz’s New Chatbot Is Bringing Conversational News to Facebook Messenger

Adweek: Quartz’s New Chatbot Is Bringing Conversational News to Facebook Messenger. “This year’s South by Southwest has been a world filled with over-the-top brand activations, surprise visits from Elon Musk and plenty of new products. Quartz took advantage of the atmosphere of the festival and released Quartz for Messenger on March 8. With its new chatbot, Quartz hopes to deliver the news and other content to users on Facebook’s Messenger.”

Wired: An AI That Reads Privacy Policies So That You Don’t Have To

Wired: An AI That Reads Privacy Policies So That You Don’t Have To. “Today, researchers at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan announced the release of Polisis—short for ‘privacy policy analysis’—a new website and browser extension that uses their machine-learning-trained app to automatically read and make sense of any online service’s privacy policy, so you don’t have to.”