What is a chat bot, and should I be using one?

Tay, Microsoft’s artificial intelligence chatbot, ran into trouble when it tried to learn how to be a millennial from Twitter users. Photograph: Microsoft Once, a messenger app did just that – message. But with the rise of artificial intelligence, tech companies are falling over themselves to prove how much more useful and interactive their apps can be – which is why you’re about to see an explosion of “bots”. Kik, the mobile chat application popular with teenagers, launched its Bot Shop on 5 April, and Facebook is poised to launch its own bot store for Facebook Messenger next week. Every brand from Barbie to the Washington Post seems to be working on a chat bot of its own. For Kik, chat bots are the next step in the evolution of…

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