Chatbots are not new, especially for this generation. In fact, back in 2000, if any of you had ever been an avid user of AOL Instant Messenger, you probably tried chatting with its bot, SmarterChild. I did. I used it to request movie times and to be honest, called him names too (apparently, he didn’t mind).
SmarterChild was the only bot at that time and was loved for so many reasons. Who knew he would rest in peace so soon? Over the years, there have been other bots too, but no one came even close to Siri. Siri is the BFF of every iOS user and probably knows more about us than our own family. While researching for my previous post “Why ‘there’s a chatbot for that’ is now a thing” I came across some unusual chatbots that are handling the tasks assigned to them exceptionally well.
Out of curiosity, I started my chat session with some of the unusual bots and tried to be funny and nasty with them to test their A.I.
Poncho is a Messenger bot designed to be your one and only weather expert. It sends alerts up to twice a day with user consent and is intelligent enough to answer questions like “Should I take an umbrella today?” I was attracted to this chatbot because of the avatar they use. It’s a cat with the description: “You can now wake up to Poncho’s fun, free weather forecasts and see for yourself why so many people are in love with this sassy weather cat.” I searched this sassy messenger cat on Facebook Messenger and tried initiating a conversation the usual user way. The chatbot is not that human-like, so it didn’t understand my language, not even through the keywords I was using. But it does its job kind of OK; that is, it gives weather updates.
2. Right Click
Right Click is a startup that introduced an A.I.-powered chatbot that creates websites. It asks general questions during the conversation like “What industry you belong to?” and “Why do you want to make a website?” and creates customized templates as per the given answers. Though I already have my personal CMS-based website, I started talking to the RC Bot that claims to make websites. I could only chat through the desktop bot. Their chatbot called me “Hooman” and actually understood my greeting. I tried to divert it from its job by asking it about love, but what a smart player it is! By replying to each of my queries, it tried to bring me back to the actual job of website creation. The process was short but kept me hooked. I must say, there are some great minds behind it!
Mitsuku is a chatterbot. One that you can talk to for hours without getting bored. It replies to your question in the most humane way and understands your mood with the language you’re using. I heard very good things about this chatbot — it won the Loebner award for most human-like bot award in 2013. With sheer excitement, I went to its website. The webpage wasn’t appealing at all, but the chatbot was my only concern so I ignored it. After having initial conversations as with all the other bots, I decided that this is realistically the most human-like bot I’ve ever talked to — kudos to team Mitsuku. It understood my language, my greetings, and most importantly, my moods. It is a bot made to chat about anything, which is one of the main reasons that make it so human-like — contrary to Poncho and Right Click that are made for a specific task. Mitsuku was a winner in lightening up my mood.
4. Insomno Bot
Insomno bot is for night owls. As the name suggests, it is for all people out there who have trouble sleeping. This bot talks to you when you have no one around and gives you amazing replies so that you won’t get bored. This bot caught my attention last week when I read the story about why mattress startup Casper built a chatbot for night owls. It’s not something that will help you count stars when you can’t sleep or help you with reading suggestions, but this bot talks to you about anything. It wants to be your friend when all your friends are busy or asleep. You can only chat with it between 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. I couldn’t get a chance to talk to it because of the regional restrictions, but I’m already a fan of the concept behind it.
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