Bourbon & Bots Ch. 1: What is a Bot?

Engineering, AI/Bots

In conversation with Liusha Huang, Software Engineer at Wizeline

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Bourbon & Bots is an interview series featuring Wizeliners who share their experiences working on the Wizeline bot platform (while sipping bourbon). Launched in October 2017, it enables developers to quickly build customized chatbots and reuse code. Stay tuned for upcoming interviews with product managers, account executives, and engineers. 

 

 

What is your role at Wizeline?

I am an engineer, and I work with the bots team to build a platform that speeds up the bot delivery process for our customers. I joined Wizeline in December 2015, so I’ve been here for about two years.

 

What are chatbots?

A chatbot is a computer program that can understand and answer human questions in human language.

 

What is a bot’s main purpose?

To communicate with humans and, in the future, other bots. Intelligent and well trained bots can be treated as humans. They can be programmed to conduct various tasks like making a call, booking a flight, scheduling a meeting, and much more.

 

Can you clarify the purpose of Wizeline’s bot platform?

Our bot platform helps service engineers to deliver bots to our customers. By developing on a platform, you don’t need to redo your work and can easily deploy second or third bots. Think of the platform like a bot maker: Wizeline provides the very core technology which others can leverage to quickly build a customized bot.

 

Why are people so excited about bots?

Because they really empower human beings today. In a few years, chatbots will fully represent us and speak with other people or bots 24/7. Imagine an assistant or agent who works for you at all hours and communicates much faster than a person.

 

What’s the coolest bot you can think of?

The coolest bot I can think of is not really one bot. If you think about it, bots represent human beings and one-on-one engagement. But imagine millions of bots acting like people and talking to each other non-stop, 24/7. What would happen?

Right now, if you want to book a flight you need to manually compare prices and locations while browsing on various websites and applications. Despite there being very cool apps that help with flight booking, most of this work is manual.

Imagine a bot, however, that represents you. It can communicate with bots deployed by airlines and service websites concurrently and non-stop. The bot does all the research work up until the moment you make a decision.

For me, the coolest bot would be a platform that supports bots communicating with other bots, in all human languages. That would be really exciting.

 

Do you have any predictions about bots in five years?

I don’t have any data backed predictions, but I have a dream. I hope we will have a bot platform that can support bots communicating with other bots.

I see bots as a new version and generation of API’s. Today, API’s have so many restrictions: you must know how to program, send a request to a server in a specific format, and it must be totally accurate or the server will fail.

But if we think about a server existing between bots, it would be like two people talking and sharing information. If I want to know the weather in San Francisco using a server, I must have all the accurate information. If I’m missing “San Francisco,” for example, the server will say “I don’t know” because “you didn’t tell me where to search.”

A bot, however, can be treated like a person. You could ask: “What’s the weather here?” It might reply back “What’s here?” to which you reply “San Francisco.”

Bots talking to each other is much better than API’s because we would communicate in human language. I hope this can happen in five years so that bot conversations eventually replace modern day API’s.

Wizeline builds innovative software applications and provides the team, platform and services required for development and delivery. To learn more about Wizeline’s bot platform, sign up for a free demo and connect with an expert today.

Posted by sara on Friday, October 27, 2017.

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Nov 23, 2017

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