VentureBeat’s Bots Channel tracks the most important news and analysis from the exploding fields 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 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:
The holiday season is upon us and, fortunately, there’s a bot for that. Gift-giving got you frazzled? There are plenty of bots that can take the stress out of shopping. Need some ideas for decorating? Try the DIY bot. And if you’re counting down the days until Christmas, well, there’s Rudolf Adventson.
And just in time for the holidays, the Amazon Echo went out of stock for online sales showing how hot the market for voice-activated intelligent assistants will become. We’ll be watching in 2017 as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft battle to be your everything.
Please watch for next week’s newsletter, where we’ll review the top bots stories of 2016.
Wishing you and yours happy holidays,
— Blaise Zerega
Editor in Chief
From the Bots Channel
HBO’s Westworld artificial intelligence, then and now
Much as they are today, people were enthralled by artificial intelligence in 1973 — the year Michael Crichton released the film Westworld. The film became MGM’s biggest box office hit of the year, yet launched the same year as the first AI winter: a massive event of depleted AI resources, dashed expectations, and dwindling interest over the ensuing […]
5 bots to try this week: GanePay, INSDRbot, Trivia Blast, DIY Bot, and Ainstein
If you’ve got a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in need of some love and decoration, then check out DIY Bot for some last-minute ornament ideas. The projects range from the brilliantly easy, like configuring Scrabble tiles into festive messages (pictured above), to more complex ones, like a reindeer and Christmas tree inside a bottle. Same basic idea […]
3 roadblocks chatbots face
While we think of them as the latest thing in tech, conversational interfaces have been around for quite some time. From Cleverbot and Smarter Child to labyrinthine phone trees (“say REPRESENTATIVE”), we have been trying for years to build technology that mimics how we interact with humans. Recent advances have positioned these tools for substantial […]
Microsoft Cortana is about to become your all-purpose productivity bot
Microsoft Cortana has been playing catch-up with Siri and the Google Assistant, but that’s about to change. The company Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded in 1975 has made no secret of the fact that it intends to become an AI powerhouse. Many of the recent changes in Microsoft Office have been related to productivity automation. […]
What Google, Microsoft, and Amazon did this week in the race to be everyone’s favorite virtual assistant
Take a step back for a look at the big picture, and it’s clear that 2016 was a remarkable year for bots and virtual assistants. Within the span of a few months this spring, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft all made plans to grow bot ecosystems and each invited developers to build bots or virtual assistant […]
6 ways to entertain yourself with Amazon Echo
Sometimes you go out hard and party like the cool kids. Other times, your Saturday night plans are … less than spectacular. For times like those, here are the 6 best ways to get entertainment out of your Amazon Echo when you’re bored and lonely, or just sick of other people. After all, your friends may judge […]
IBM Wants To Build AI That Isn’t Socially Awkward
Big Blue says its latest Watson tech enables chatbots, robots, and even smart cars and houses that can understand and relate to humans. (via Fast Company)
Chatbots And VR Lead This Season’s Top Tech Trends In Retail
Technology is playing an ever-important role in the shopping side of the holiday season. Logistics aside, which is of course critical at this time of year, tech is also proving increasingly key from an experiential and a customer service perspective both online and offline. Leading that charge for 2016 are virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). (via Forbes)
Zuckerberg Explains How He Built ‘Jarvis’, The Artificial Intelligence That Runs His Home
Mark Zuckerberg on Monday introduced the world to “Jarvis”, an artificial intelligence system the Facebook chief created in his spare time, which can choose and play music, turn on lights, and recognise visitors, deciding whether to open the front door. (via India Times)
The Pint-Sized Supercomputer That Companies Are Scrambling to Get
To companies grappling with complex data projects powered by artificial intelligence, a system that Nvidia calls an “AI supercomputer in a box” is a welcome development. (via MIT Technology Review)
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