Back in the days of legacy instant messengers (AOL, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger) chatbots used to be great sounding boards for curses and immature child’s play. Today however, chatbots are back, but in refined form to deliver much more utility.
A virtual friend we a keen eye on the clouds, Poncho.is primarily provides personalized weather forecasts in a conversational style. When you sign up for the service, Poncho.is asks you questions such as when you wake up, if you have pollen allergies, how you commute, and more. Then, rather than just delivering the weather, it’s much more practical about the information, telling you allergen levels, commute times and how the humidity might affect your hair. The bot is accessible via Slack, Facebook Messenger, an iOS app, email, and text.
An AI assistant for both individual and group purchasing, Kip Search designed to make shopping easier for everyone from families and friends to office workers. The killer feature of the service is the emoji-based discovery feature; rather than relying on typing out messages, users can use symbols of food, emotions, shoes, basketballs and more to run queries.
It also understands text based searches and user responses to narrow down results. For example, when you’re shopping for coffee, if Kip returns dark coffee results, you can say “but lighter” and you’ll then receive lighter coffee roasts.
For companies, the main benefit is that admins can choose who makes the purchases by easily adding them to a group, and then employees can “put in orders” for items while the administrative user gets the bills. Kip Search provides free expense reports on top of the service. Kip Search currently works with Kik, Telegram, and Slack, with a Facebook Messenger version currently in the works.
With the Job Pal chatbot people can apply for jobs in a matter of minutes through Facebook messenger. To get started users simply provide their name, email, and three achievements they are proud of in their professional career. The user then enters the types of jobs for which they are looking (e.g., Sales Manager) along with preferred locations. The bot then displays one result at a time, and users are able to submit their applications with a single click. Job Pal is the chatbot extension of the Mihiro web application.
CareerLark offers employees an easy way to gather micro-feedback from their peers, making it easier for people to effectively improve their performance, and managers to regularly evaluate employee performance through 360 degree evaluation.
Employees begin by choosing “goals”, which are essentially job performance dimensions and areas in which they are looking to improve. Pre-written goals are provided or users can create their own. From there, the employee is able to send the questions to peers and receive a summary of the feedback in real-time. According to CareerLark, it only takes around 30 seconds to give micro-feedback with an emoji and a 200-character snippet.
At the moment CareerLark only works with Slack, however text and email integrations are currently in the works. The service is free for up to ten employees with custom pricing for larger teams.
Inspired by a post by venture capitalist Fred Wilson, YesAndBot streamlines note taking from brainstorming sessions. When installed, the bot creates a Slack channel specifically for brainstorming, and a Google Sheet to log the notes. Whenever an idea comes up users only need to post a message starting with a ‘- ‘and the bot will automatically log the line into the Google sheet.
If you’re looking for a way to kill some time, the Sequel bot store has a bunch of story based games you can play via Facebook Messenger, Kik, and Telegram. A story-based game is essentially a “choose your own adventure” experience; a premise is provided (e.g., “Imprisoned: You’re Isolated, Disoriented and Alone. Wait…you’re not alone”), then dialogue and events are listed out, begging your decision on how to proceed towards the unknown end. Most of the games are focused around romance, crime, horror, humor, and drama.
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