Facebook Thinks It Has Found the Secret to Making Bots Less Dumb

The two universally acknowledged truths about bots. Screenshot / Google.com If there’s one thing we’ve learned about bots over the years, it’s that they aren’t too bright. From Eliza to Tay, the best-known chat bots generally rely on a distinctive personality to cover for their inability to understand what you’re saying. Meanwhile, business-oriented bots, such as Microsoft’s Clippy, Slackbot, and Poncho, tend to be inflexible, because they’re hard-coded with preset responses to specific queries. And just when you think you’ve found a bot that’s really impressive—say, Facebook’s M, or x.ai’s Amy Ingram—it turns out that there are humans behind the curtain, stepping in to solve the problems that the computer can’t. Will Oremus This year began with a fresh wave of bot hype, which quickly petered out when users found…

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