The term ‘bot’ comes from the word ‘robot’. Robots are physical objects that can be helpful in the physical world, whereas bots are computer programs that can provide help in digital environments.
● Bots come in many forms that are used in various situations.
● Chatbots mimic conversations between people. They are used in customer service, for example, because they are always available and can be used to answer the same questions time and again – a task that people could soon find tiresome.
● In its simplest form, a chatbot can give pre-selected answers from which a customer may choose in order to steer the conversation. On the other hand, chatbots that use artificial intelligence can be more intelligent, as they can interpret speech or written text, and use them to formulate answers. To ensure that an AI-based chatbot works properly, it is important that the AI is able to interpret and understand the language used.
● Chatbots are usually made to help, but influencer bots are only rarely based on good intentions. They disguise themselves as normal social media users that can like and share people’s content or leave comments in the comments section. In reality, they are automated accounts, whose main objective is to influence other users. For example, the aim may be to mislead or to spread uncertainty or false information. Bots can also be used to increase the attention received by certain people, ideas or messages.
● Bots are not always easy to recognise, but if an account is used to actively spread one type of message or if they contain little information on other topics and have only a few followers, the chances are the account is a bot.
Text: Linda Mannila
Image: Siru Tirronen