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Internet robots or bots which are also known by several other names such as web spiders, web crawlers, and web bots are a nothing but a marvellous software tool that carries out tasks, often mundane and repetitive, automatically. These bots are used to perform some systematical operations in which changes are out of the question. The purpose behind the development of these information gathering robots was to hand over recurring operations to a non-human entity which will not get bored of doing the same thing over and over again, that too with great accuracy and precision. It would not be an overstatement if Bots are termed to be the building blocks of the Internet since more than 50% of web traffic comes from them.

Whether the task is of indexing a search engine or carrying out chat with a human being on the basis of pre-recorded information or refreshing your Facebook feed, know that bots are on duty. They exist primarily in chatting apps and thus are termed chatbots. Bots which gather information are called web crawlers. They allow instant automated interaction on several websites. They are a huge help with carrying out laborious and monotonous tasks which a human would not have possibly completed with a greater efficacy.

A bot should not be confused with a human-like machine which is commonly thought of when we talk about robotic mechanisms. A bot is a piece of tech but mainly constitutes software (a set of specific algorithms) and is intended to carry out operations which are all alike. They are like virtual robots or robots without a mechanical body. Popular examples of bots are Apple’s Siri, the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.

A known fact is that Bots are used for creating Wikipedia articles and since there were some errors involved, Bot policy came into existence. Bots thus do sound helpful but they do come in the form of malware, that’s why it is crucial to understand about good and bad bots. Malware bots can be used to gain total control over your computer.

Good bots.

  • Good Bots were designed to help enhance user’s experience on the Internet.
  • They help gather information.
  • They are useful in automatic interaction. Bots allow dynamic conversation since they can collect information as chatbots.
  • Good bots are being used for customer care services, sales and marketing.
  • Bots are an advancement in the world of Artificial Intelligence.

Bad Bots.

Bad bots remain unidentified and unnoticed, thus proving to be very dangerous or fatal. The download format is kept hidden when you opt to download the content of your choice. Malware in the shape of bots can reach you through emails, social media, game, video or any advertisement. When you receive a pop-up suggesting a clean up since your system is slow or not performing up to the mark, it can be a scare tactic for introducing a virus to your computer.

  • They infect their host and send confidential information to a remote host.
  • They can gather passwords, obtain financial information, and help viruses and worms attack your system. In last 5 years, every third website which was attacked by a malware was actually attacked by a bot.
  • Bots can open back doors and launch attacks.
  • A large number of computers too can be infected using bots in the form of a botnet or bot network, a malware which is self-propagating.
  • Activities like DDoS (Denial of Service Attacks), spamming and phishing attacks are also carried out by hackers using bots.

 

Good or bad, bots are being created on a large scale. The CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella has stated that bots are the new apps. By 2021, it has been estimated by technology research and advisory firm Gartner, that more than 50% of enterprises will be moving towards developing a bot rather than a traditional mobile app. To support the statement, various online libraries like The Chicken Scheme, Common Lisp, Haskell, Java, Microsoft .NET, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby programming language are offering information about how to create a bot. Even Pywikipedia (Python Wikipediabot Framework, a collection of tools developed specifically for creating bots) exists to help create bots.

Evidently, the internet might be flooded by bots today but the age of bots has just started taking a shape. CB Insights, a market research firm has mentioned that over a dozen venture-capital-backed startups have already raised the first round of funding for development of bots. And why not? A bot can help you order a pizza, schedule your meetings, keep you updated with the weather, and provide customer support. Instant suggestions for the best restraint nearby or making payments was never so easy before.

This looks pretty much is being offered but honestly, it is not. Marketing bots are being talked about and will certainly gain popularity. They are cheap and can perform the same function for like forever without complaining about the redundancy of their job, and they are easy to program.

Bots can definitely enhance the digital marketing ways. A list of how bots are and can chanining sales and marketing is given below.

  1. Communicating with visitors online.

Website when approached by a visitor may not always answer every query of a consumer, online chat option which is available 24*7 – helping you find the right product is simply a blessing. People admire when they feel important and something is customized so as to deliver their desirable product. Personalized user experience is the key to sales. More than 70% of folks wants specifically fashioned information in order to meet their demands.

  1. Bots help you with the research work. Growthbot is a preferred name that keeps you ahead of Google searches. It is an all-in-one digital assistant for marketing, sales and CRM.
  2. Bots can help you with lead management. Statsbot is your companion for analytical tasks.
  3. Bots go well with instant messaging apps lithe ke Facebook messenger.
  4. You can shape a bot to sell a product all by itself. From finding the right product to the payment, a bot can actually do it all.
  5. The customers never feel like they are going through a survey when a bot is conversing with them and gathering valuable information. This information is then analyzed to identify purchasing patterns. No wonder when searching online, you generally hit the right kind of product.
  6. Messaging is the most preferred form of communication these days and bots work on the same interface.
  7. Bots ask questions instead of simply giving you a message box to write and send your query. Step by step, using questions that you feel compelled to answer, they would draw you near and nearer to the product you are seeking.

Bots are fascinating but cannot replace humans. Artificial intelligence is still not that capable to offer everything that a person needs. Though, this is an era of going digital and bots are doing wonders for e-commerce, travels etc. Still,  they should be judiciously used.

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