what is a bot

October 9, 2019

Chatbots Narratives: What is a bot?

What is a bot? Before answering this question, lets first discover some history behind the development bots and study their evolution.

The motivation behind the development of Bots

Bots are almost as old as computer programming. Since the early days of computer programming, the programmers have dreamt of programs with human-like abilities. The motivation behind the development of bots was the programs that not only would automate tasks that humans perform but also they can work with humans to solve intellectual problems that cannot be completely automated. 

What is a bot historically? 

What is a bot in terms of man-machine conversation? 

Computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing developed the Turing Test in 1950. It is a test for intelligence in a computer. It requires a human being, and if the human is unable to distinguish the machine from another human being by using the replies to questions put to both, the test is passed.

Source: Wikipedia

The Turing Test fueled the development of chatbots. In 1966 Eliza was created, it was the first computer program that could have a conversation with humans. Other chatbots that were inspired by ELIZA were Perry (1972), Alice (1995), SmarterChild (2000), Julia (1994), Sylvie (1997). 

What is a bot in terms of the internet? 

With the advent of the internet, internet bots were invented. The first internet bots were implemented over Internet Relay Chat ( IRC ). IRC came to the scenes around 1988. Few internet bots were Puppe, Game Manager, Bartender, etc.

What is a bot used in search engines?

Web crawlers were developed after the creation of search engines. These bots were used to index the web pages. The first one was around 1994 used by AOL. Googlebot was created in 1996.

What is a bot in terms of malicious activity?

Trojans and worms like Sub7 and Pretty Park were introduced in 1999. They could secretly install on machines and perform malicious activities. These malicious bots were able to perform activities over HTTP, SSL, IRC, ICMP.

What is a bot in the contemporary scenario? 

Today bots are not just replacing humans at simple tasks but are also performing very complex software applications. 

Among the thousands of chatbots that exist today, some popular mainstream examples include Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Tay, Cleverbot, and IBM’s Watson.

What is a bot? The definition.

A bot is a software whose behaviour is governed by algorithms. It automates repetitive tasks and does the predefined tasks. A bot connects a user with software services.

Source: botnerds.com

What is a bot technology? 

Now we understand what is a bot, we shall now know their types and uses. The bot technologies are of three types:

A bot with external services, e.g. online services

A bot with integrated services, i.e. a bot itself owns the software services that it requires to perform its tasks

A bot with both external and integrated services

What is a bot classification?

We’ve covered what is a bot, types of bots and now we classify the bots:

High-Level Classifications of bots

Web bots, i.e. that perform online tasks

Conversational agents, i.e. chatbots that can schedule appointments, reserve tickets etc.

Classification based on the role of bots

WebCrawlers, i.e. that fetch and store data from websites, APIs’ etc.

Information bots, i.e. that bring notifications.

What is a bot from a socio-technical perspective? 

After what is a bot, its types and classification we move to the socio technical view.

Source: A Taxonomy of Software Bots:Towards a Deeper Understanding of Software Bot Characteristics by Carlene R. Lebeuf

The bot technologies can play a major role in reducing the types of problems that software developers face when they work collaboratively, as: 

(a) the problems of team’s interactions.

(b) an individual’s interactions with technology problem

(c) a team’s interactions with the technology problem.

Concluding the discussion on what is a bot

These bot technologies have affected our personal and professional life in a great way. We harvest a lot of benefits from bots though they can be malicious too when deployed by hackers. How AI will enhance bot’s capabilities and what is a bot in future roles? We will discover ahead. 

Part 2 ended.

Part 1 Chatbots narratives: Introduction to Chatbots

If you are inspired by our what is a bot story and are all ready to experience one, then visit BotPenguin. It’s a smart chatbot, I recommend for your business. It’s free. Enjoy!!! 

Thanks.

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