If you are just browsing the net hoping to find ways to integrate Big Data, AI, ML, and other technology into your business, you might be overwhelmed by the many types of Bots and functionalities. There are web crawler/spider bots, web scraping bots, chatbots, bots for almost anything under the Internet. It (almost) does not make sense anymore. In this article, we try to help you keep your sanity by piecing the many naming conventions of bots together.
Web scraping bots performs the function of web scraping which is to extract data to its entirety from websites and produce databases as outputs. These bots are great as early steps for analytics (data gathering) and a competitive strategy for content producers. This type of bot may be less intuitive to consumers, but it serves many purposes.
To illustrate it plainly- suppose you decided to do an analysis on Trump. You may wish to start from his Twitter, where he has over 40,000 tweets. It will be impractical to copy each tweet on an excel sheet manually. This will be the time you implement a web scraping bot to extract all the information from Trump’s Twitter page. The information extracted may include the Tweets, its Timestamp, number of Likes, number of comments and the comments itself.
Web crawler bots or web spiders are moving in the Internet space constantly to pick up activities by visiting all the links. They are like Stormtroopers of the Internet, always patrolling and reporting updates and discoveries. This is how search engines like Google picks up your website as soon as you have published it.
Games and Entertainment bots - If you game, you might have spent hours pitting against bots in Fortnight, PUBG, amongst the rest.
Within this category, there are
- Aimbot – to aim at your opponents.
- AFKbot/ Farmbot – to literally be “away from keyboard” and still train your characters. This might explain why Nexon caved and introduced the auto-train function on Maplestory M.
- NPCbot – this refers to “non-player characters” who are buzzing around to create the “story” of the game, and handing out quests, etc.
Bots in specific games, for example
- Dota 2 bots - These bots which were created by an Elon Musk funded research lab successfully defeated 99.4% of players in public matches in 2019
Chatbots - the most commonly used by people of all demographics. They are machines you talk to when you need something, or when you are just bored. You may be more familiar with Siri, Alexa and Cortana. These high-profile bots are powered by the prominent players like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.
These are 4 ways people name their chatbots or bots in general:
1) The method in which they are created from
- Chatbots - Basic scripted chatbots created using simple scripts to provide feedback. Example: The only functions it support must called with backslashes such as \start \kick.
- AI Chatbots - Powered by Artificial Intelligence. Trained with ML and NLP to understand how users behave, ask questions, to produce more suitable and tailored responses. The more the bot interacts with humans, the smarter it becomes.
2) The communication channel (receive and provide information)
- Voice Bots
- Text Bots
- Visual Recognition Bot
3) The platform the bots operates on
- Telegram Bot
- Slack Bot
- WhatsApp Bot
- FaceBook Bot
- Web Bot
4) The key feature
Coaching/ Alert/ Notification
Many applications. For example, fitness bots that reminds you to exercise. Guides you on how to save, or what time your appointment is.
Bots that lives on social media. They generate messages automatically to advocate brands/ ideas. It can also be used as fake accounts to gain fake followers and inflated like counts.
Direct you to the correct person (like IVRs that requires you to “press 0” for general enquiries).
It supports bot to human hand-off function – the bots will strive to answer your questions, but when it is unable to, it directs you to a human support staff.
Customer service & FAQ
Widely used bot to provide quick replies to user queries. Helps to profile users to facilitate customised marketing, upsell and cross-sell.