I’ve had it up to *here* with the instant messenger. Once a convenient, hassle-free way to stay in touch with your mates, IM programs now the plague of my daily life. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts -- SMS and email on top of that -- you’re all killing me.
The first two are terrible because you can’t reply to one person without another you’re not yet ready (or willing) to chat to knowing that you’ve been online and ignored their message. It’s the same for Hangouts, which happens to come with a side of splitting headache, thanks to the buzz on your phone and that dreadful ‘DING’ on your computer triggered by every single fucking message.
Don’t even get me started on group conversations.
Unfortunately, I need them. This is why I’m so excited by the Chat Bot Club, an early-build bot you could soon be able to pawn off all of your instant messaging duties on. Created by Irene Chang at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in New York over the weekend, it uses Cisco Spark and IBM Watson to learn your favourite phrases and emojis -- in my case a lot of 'haaaa', 'this guy' and 'pic?' -- and imitate it as well as it can.
Though it isn’t yet ready for general use, Chang is planning on integrating APIs and adding support for popular messaging apps including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Kik. Disturbing future, in which humans interact through automated bots, I can't wait to meet you. [TechCrunch]