VentureBeat’s Bots Channel tracks all the important and interesting news related to the exploding field of bots and messaging. Each week, we select the top stories and present them in in our free weekly newsletter, BotBeat. We include news stories by VentureBeat staff, guest articles from leading figures in the bots community, and a good number of posts from a wide variety of other outlets. You can subscribe to our BotBeat newsletter to receive this information in your inbox every Thursday.

Here’s this week’s newsletter:

For those in America, happy Thanksgiving! And for those of you in other countries, we give our thanks to you for reading the Bots Channel.

This week, among other news, we covered some interesting developments surrounding Google. Namely, what it’s like to send social messages with Google Assistant, what click-to-message ads mean for businesses, and the way digital assistants are changing our approach to search.

As always, please send news tips to Khari Johnson and guest post submissions to John Brandon. Be sure to visit our Bots Channel for comprehensive news on bots and messaging.

Please enjoy this introductory video from the Udemy series “Make a Facebook Messenger Chatbot” (15 videos)

From the Bots Channel

Police car lights emergency services

5 emergency chat services with the power to save lives

Amid billions in AI investment and a rush to make profitable bots by virtually every major tech giant from Apple to Google to Samsung, it can be tough to remember there are bots out there with a mission to protect the most precious, priceless thing of all — life. As messaging apps grow user bases larger than social media […]

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Helpshift pulls Cisco into $25 million round for in-app customer support

Cisco is joining as an investor into Helpshift‘s previously announced $25 million funding round. That’s a big endorsement for the startup’s business of providing in-app customer support. Helpshift has been able to reduce customer support costs for a wide swath of clients by building robust customer support directly into apps. It provides answers for frequently […]

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Metacert logo

Metacert raises $1.2 million to detect malware on enterprise bots like Slack, Microsoft Teams

EXCLUSIVE: Metacert has raised $1.2 million for its messaging app security and bot solutions, the company told VentureBeat. The Metacert Security Bot detects malware, phishing, and pornography in direct messages and Slack channels and works on Slack, Hipchat, and soon Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Facebook Messenger, Metacert cofounder Paul Walsh told VentureBeat in a Skype interview. “The […]

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It's Alive bot

5 bots to try this week:, Visabot, It’s Alive, Microsoft Azure, Swelly

“We help immigrants make America great again,” says the slogan of Visabot, which, in the wake of president-elect Trump’s victory, calls attention to the significant contributions of those from overseas. The bot helps people complete visa applications to enter the United States and is included in this week’s top five roundup. In describing Visabot, Khari Johnson wrote, […]

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AI is critical for social media.

How AI is becoming essential for social media

Everyone is on social media. And we mean everyone. According to Pew Research, in 2015 an astounding 65 percent of all Americans were using social media. That’s more than 200 million people in the USA alone, and is approximately the same amount as the number of people in America who own pets. (And you wondered […]

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Google Assistant on the Google Pixel XL.

What it’s like to send social media posts and chat messages with Google Assistant

There are more than 60 applets on IFTTT that extend the functionality of the Google Assistant. With them, you can purify the air, set mood lighting for a party, and control home appliances and smart cars. You can also create posts for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and send messages on Slack, Salesforce, and Skype. Further, the Google Assistant […]

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Related coverage

Why bots are the next big frontier for agencies

Sixteen years ago, I was the founder and CEO of ActiveBuddy, the first commercial bot — or chatbot — company. Our uber human natural language bot SmarterChild grew to having over 20 million users across the AOL and Microsoft Instant Messaging networks. (via Hubspot)

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Why businesses need chatbots

Ever since Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site made its Messenger mobile texting app available, businesses have begun experimenting with chatbots. In the near future, we should expect businesses to adopt chatbot platforms in the same way they are currently embracing mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms. (via Live Mint)

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Smarter bots are coming to Facebook, Google and Amazon assistants

We keep hearing that robots are going to take our jobs, but a company called MindMeld is giving us an idea how with its “Deep-Domain Conversational AI Platform.” It’ll allow bots that can essentially replace customer service agents and even baristas by answering complicated voice or text queries over Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, Facebook Messenger and other popular platforms. (via Engadget)

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Meet the Agency that Designs Artificial Intelligence Personalities

Today, you’re used to getting information in app form. You’re probably even reading this article on your phone. In the near future, more of your interaction with computers might be managed by an A.I. interface that acts like a person. That’s according to Botanic founder Mark Stephen Meadows (via Inc.)

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