30th April 2016

Facebook hints at chatbots

Mark Zuckerberg discusses chatbots at the Facebook F8 conference.

At Facebook's F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg spoke to the audience about Facebook's potential for chatbots.

Speaking at the conference, Zuckerberg said: "We think you should just be able to message a business, the same way you message a friend, and you shouldn't have to install a new app."

The news of a possible Facebook chatbot inevitably draws comparison to Microsoft's chatbot Tay, which was launched on Twitter.

Tay was manipulated by Twitter users, and taught racist behaviour.

Microsoft marketed Tay as a tool to "unlock conversation as a platform".

Nick Statt, reporter for The Verge, said "the idea [of a chatbot] is to anticipate our needs and wants and deliver something useful at the right time, without us having to ask."

He went on to say, "bots are not necessarily designed, at least not now, to be faster than us."

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