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9th September 2016

Guardian Launches a News Chatbot.

The experiment with artificial intelligence will be based on Facebook Messenger.

A chatbot is a computer programme that can react to interactions. Although the concept is in the early stages there is hope for a big future.

Currently the virtual assistant can respond to any message and offer daily news articles. However, this is currently it’s only functionality. The concept is quite similar to the Guardian’s cooking chatbot, Sous Chef, launched in June.

Martin Belam, Guardian Social and New Media Editor, said, “I’m always fascinated by how we can use technology to get the best of our journalism in front of the widest possible relevant audience. This seemed like a way of doing it”.

“We don’t think messenger bots are going to be the biggest thing in journalism over the next couple of years, but it’s a platform people are interested in and part of my role is thinking about people spending an awful lot of time on their phones doing things that aren’t visiting our website, so what can we do to get them to visit our journalism while doing what they are doing on their phones?”

The chatbot can be accessed by messaging the Guardian on Facebook Messenger.
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