Chatbots, computer programs that mimic conversation with people by using artificial intelligence, “can transform the way you interact with the internet, from a series of self-initiated tasks to a quasi-conversation,” The Guardian declared last year.

Chatbots have been in use a long time, albeit in different forms. The automated customer-service robots that help navigate you through those seemingly endless phone trees when you call an 800 number were an early form of chatbots. So were the fake accounts that used to spam you on AOL Instant Messenger back in the opening days of the 2000s.

Today, chatbots are much more sophisticated and make use of some pretty high-level artificial intelligence (AI). The AI, in fact, is so good that many chatbots are indistinguishable from actual humans conversing.

The appeal of chatbots? That lies in their versatility. They can be used to perform a variety of different functions within the realms of customer service, customer interaction and many different “top of the funnel” advertising and marketing initiatives.

While chatbots have been around for a while, they recently blew up in popularity when Facebook allowed branded chatbots onto its Facebook Messenger app.

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https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286079

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