Bot and messaging communication company Gupshup announced today the beta release of InterBot, a tool for bot-to-bot communication.
InterBot can be used to share, create, and launch bots that speak to each other. Developers are invited to import their own bots from platforms like Facebook Messenger, both to speak with other bots and to combine the capabilities of multiple bots to make smarter, more powerful bots.
Bots that can speak to each other, exchange information, ask each other questions and respond is what Gupshup CEO Beerud Sheth calls the “first marker or the start of a different phase of the bot phenomena.”
As more and more bots are built and ecosystems rise around chat apps and intelligent assistants, they’re going to need ways to coordinate and interact, Sheth said.
“The InterBot system will kind of become like a collective mind, think about Borg in Star Trek,” he said. “Today what people do is they build custom APIs and they build for their own business, but it ignores the fact that every other business will also build a bot and will have to deal with other bots.”
On the consumer level this could mean your bot and your doctor’s bot speak to each other to schedule your next appointment, or that your personal bot can coordinate a lunch date with the bot of a friend or colleague. It could also mean you send your bot out to accomplish tasks on your behalf.
“When I do comparison, I check at most two to three websites but my bot can look at 1,000 merchants and there’s no problem whatsoever because the bot can handle infinite capacity,” Sheth said. “Very soon, instead of me using bots, a shopping bot can go talk to all the merchant bots and get me the best price.”
On a business-to-business level, Gupshup envisions InterBot helping supply chain and procurement become more efficient. Specific bots could also be used to do things like enforce common standards between businesses in separate parts of the world or bots on different platforms.
While the major focus of the bot boom has been bots that talk to humans, interest has grown in bots that talk to bots.
Researchers at OpenAI are currently exploring ways bots in a multiagent environment speak to each other and create their own languages. Bot-to-bot communication has also attracted the attention of the IBM Watson developer community.
“What we’ve done is set up a channel with sort of the technical layer, but what bots say to each other, there’s no restriction on that, which means bots may evolve new things and standards and conversations,” Sheth said.
Gupshup began as an SMS network in India in 2004. Today the company exchanges more than four billion messages a day. The Gupshup bot creation platform is currently used by more than 30,000 developers and can make bots for roughly 20 different bot platforms from Alexa and Skype to Microsoft Teams and WeChat.
Last year, Gupshup was one of the first bot platforms to partner with Google for the creation of its Actions on Google platform.