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 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:

A year ago, Amir Shevat quit his job at Google to join Slack as head of developer relations. What’s happened with bots since then has, as he puts it, been “mind-blowing.”

We’ve witnessed the evolution of “conversational commerce” from a powerful idea to the foundation of a vibrant ecosystem with startups, investors, brands, and of course the tech giants, all pushing things forward. There have been major changes to the fields of messaging, AI, and commerce, with massive disruptions to come. Some of them will be expected, but others will take us by surprise.

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

Please enjoy this video from Chris & Chris on Chatbots: Build a chatbot in 6 minutes with IBM Watson


From the Bots Channel

Bots for the office

The Bots Landscape evolves, adds heavyweights like Google Assistant, funds 14 more Slack bots

About a year ago I left Google to join Slack, and I hit the ground running. The team I joined was really excited about the platform we were planning to launch and things were super hectic. We were working with partners to implement bots, deliberating if developers will understand and buy into the concept of […]

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A demonstration of what Amazon Lex can do.

AWS launches Amazon Lex, a bot framework that powers Alexa

The time has come. Following years of mounting interest in a type of artificial intelligence (AI) called deep learning, the biggest public cloud infrastructure provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), today announced its first Amazon AI services that make use of deep learning. Deep learning generally involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data, such […]

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Google Home.

Your personal assistant doesn’t need any chatbots — or does it?

Not only do more people use messaging services than social networks, they spend more time using these services than they do on social networks and browsing the web, combined. Messaging is in its heyday. The future of technology is in conversation. At the same time, breakthroughs in deep learning and reinforcement learning have brought artificial […]

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Machine learning bots AI artificial intelligence

How machine learning can make humans better managers

Machine learning is rapidly infiltrating today’s workplace, in businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries — and it’s here to stay. In fact, so far in 2016 over 200 AI-focused companies have raised nearly $1.5 billion in funding, and equity deals to startups in AI increased 6x from roughly 70 in 2011 to almost 400 in 2015. […]

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AI is coming, and the chatbots are here.

What happens when bots start writing code instead of humans

“‘It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go  —  maybe even longer.”  New York Times, 1997 “Master of Go Board Game Is Walloped by Google Computer Program”  New York Times, 2016 Software development has gone through massive paradigm shifts over the past decade. Once limited to developers with years of study or […]

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hud screen bots minority report

The real opportunities with Facebook Messenger

In April, 2016 (a mere seven months ago) Mark Zuckerberg, David Marcus (and, in a smaller side tent, myself) went on stage to proclaim that the future of business is conversation. Imagine the opportunity to communicate with one billion potential customers   in a personal, private space  that makes it as easy and delightful as messaging […]

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Related Coverage

Bots That Can Talk Will Help Us Get More Value from Analytics

Over the past few years, much has been made of the rise of big data. And yet research from TDWI states that at organizations where 50% of employees have access to business intelligence tools, only 20% of that group actually use them. Part of the problem is that systems are often hard to use. Another challenge is low rates of data literacy. (via Harvard Business Review)

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A Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Messenger Bots

The latest interface for the tech world, chatbots, arrived on Facebook Messenger this year. But Facebook is not alone in the chatbot game. There is Microsoft’s infamous Tay. Both Line and Kik have their own suite of bot-building tools. Bots are also the core concept behind Google Assist and the Allo platform. (via Search Engine Journal)

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How Chatbots Will Evolve In One Simple Flowchart (Infographic)

Many chatbots will die. The survivors will get better. Here’s what to expect. (via Entrepreneur)

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So 2016 Was Not the Year Messaging Changed Your Life

This was supposed to be the year that texting wasn’t just texting anymore. After big announcements from Facebook, Google, and others, Americans were going to use messaging apps for so much more than chatting with friends. You were going to seamlessly interact with a world of online businesses. You were going to send questions to search engines and book tables at restaurants. You were going to get stuff done without ever opening another app. (via Wired)

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