At the time when people have created the first PCs, they were considering developing special programs that could think and talk as real people do. Such programs would be intended to automate social practices and solve difficult operating tasks.
Further in the article, we will talk about modern bot platforms, their story behind, and a useful logic.
Software Bots and the Process of Software Development
In today’s reality of software development, bots are a common standard of a graphical interface for maximally comfort interaction between a user and a program. First of all, this happens because of multiple usages of special platforms for quick message communication. The most popular examples are Facebook Messenger and Slack.
Second of all, this can happen due to the rapid progress of the tool for natural language interpretation that is supported by many modern bots. Another factor is the common usage of huge data store and machine learning algorithm: bots are useful as a particular user interface for specific system interactions that generate responses based on analysis of big informational data.
Large IT companies are actively talking about the fact that bots are very convenient, especially when integrating communication channels and uniting users around one platform. At Facebook, for example, specialists have been thinking about full-fledged replacement of all the programs by bots on the Facebook Messenger platform. And Microsoft says that bots are the new version of the operating system.
The rapid growth in the importance of bot programs can be measured by the number of such services as Alexa, Siri, IBM Watson, and Google Now. Also, some software programmers use many bots on system platforms to communicate with their colleagues: Slack, Microsoft Teams, HipChat, and many others.
Moreover, some developers start using bots within information exchange systems instead of a graphical command-line interface. It is a common situation that programmers often use very complex and original bots to solve some tasks. Based on these bots, specialists develop other bot programs for other areas of activity.
Programmatic Features of Bots
All software bots can be categorized according to their current interaction model. Some of them support highly specialized programming languages, while others can correctly interpret natural language speech and manipulate the user interface to speed up a “dialogue”.
Also, specialists divide bots according to the level of their “system intelligence”:
- A group of bots that can recognize a context and change the way they interact with a user.
- Bots with programmed artificial intelligence.
- Fully autonomous software bots or those that function from data originally entered by a user.
Besides, bots can be distinguished by the scope of their purpose:
- Universal bots that solve a wide range of tasks and deep knowledge, if needed. Also, they can automatically redirect a user to external resources.
- Information bots that transmit data to a user.
- Bots, responsible for user productivity.
- Bots, programmed to help communicate with people, with the possibility of their coordination and partnership.
Creation of Bots and Their Technical Support
Technically, it is possible to develop simple bots from scratch and host them on certain resources. But if there is a question of simplifying the process of creation, testing, and distribution, then specialists use a lot of third-party platforms and services.
Such giants as Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple may provide specialized integrated tools for creating and distributing bot programs for different client purposes. The rest of the world-famous companies offer users special resources for field-specific tasks related to the development and distribution of bots, one way or another.
Platforms for Bot Creation
All bot development platforms are provided with a variety of software, frameworks, programming interfaces, and additional technical capabilities. They can focus both on a specific distribution platform and on the development of bots with subsequent deployment on other platforms (Pandorabots, Microsoft Bot framework, Botkit).
These services can range from technical documentation and prototypes of program code to a graphical interface for developing a bot without programming. There are active communities of programmers around many popular platforms. Their members can contact each other in special online groups, share experiences, receive the necessary advice and answers to questions, and participate in a discussion.
Modern Distribution Platforms
Such platforms choose the type of user access to the bot. Some of them are based on data exchange and social networks, while others are mostly used by the developer community. Distribution platforms can support some interactions such as bot-to-human, bot-to-bot, and system-to-bot.
Programmers need to choose the right distribution platform. Some platforms allow you to use an already formed client audience.
Some platforms provide the user with special mechanisms that can help find and test new bots. Like Apple’s well-known app service, some platforms have certain markets of bots.
ChatBottle and BotList also offer bot programs for some popular distribution services that make it much easier for programmers to market their bots.
The Basics of Bots Development and Features of Their Usage
Software bots are becoming very popular every day. They interact with a person in a car, at work, and even at home. Also, they are an extremely complex and noticeable component in specific software projects.
Today’s experience of using bots allows us to assess all their practical positive qualities and potential disadvantages of using.
Let’s analyze two basic principles that need to be taken into account when developing and using software bots.
Adding Instead of Changing the Current Interaction
Software bots are most often used in workgroups to solve tasks that require direct human participation. But such a decisive uncooperativeness can significantly limit a person’s creativity and reduce the level of productivity. This means that it is best to use bots to facilitate communication and coordination of certain processes.
For example, bots can inform users about the status of a certain task, notify about innovations in systems. Moreover, they connect experts and become a virtual platform to keep up one’s morale.
All bots should explain to the person that he/she is interacting with the program but not with another person. Similarly, if a software bot transfers a management system to a person, then this person should be notified about it in the most convenient form.
Hence, it will help maintain human confidence in the systems that are served by bots. Also, the purpose and list of bot capabilities should be logical, obvious, and meet the specific expectations of a user.
The number of programmers and testers who operate software bots is constantly growing. People are always trying to use cases that will be relevant tomorrow. Thus, they set an example for the rest of the IT industries.
This means that testing and studying the basic performance of such programs should be approached with special care. It is necessary to pay special attention not only to the technical component of bots but also to be able to properly predict their systemic evolution and be ready for new trends.