BOTS, the Transformative Technology Driving Process Automation

BOT, an acronym for ROBOT is a sleek artificial-intelligence-infused software application that runs automated scripts over internet which may or may not be capable of human interaction. BOTS are supposed to be a huge transformative technology that performs tasks, both simple and structurally monotonous at a great speed, then would be attainable for any human. These automated scripts will fetch and analyze files information from numerous web servers at an unimaginable speed compared to a human dependable task. Today, more than a half of web traffic is comprised of bots. And among them bots that are predominately supported by AI and automation are in use. Companies that seek to drive innovation and transformation in an organizational level will think of integrating BOTS. Suneratech also uses AI, IoT and Bots in digital integration services.

All major players have their BOT apps, some of them include — Microsoft’s CORTANA, XIAOICE, TAY. Apple’s Personal Voice assistant Siri, Google’s NOW etc. As bots are becoming main interface between humans and machines, the future user interfaces won’t be based on skeuomorphic design or muddled menus, but it will be based on more straightforward conversation. Complex Bots can understand pretty much any interaction whereas simple BOTs can understand a limited number of pre-determined commands like ordering a pizza or selecting a drink of choice and so on.

As Artificial Intelligence ecosystem continues to mature, bots will progressively demonstrate a wide variety of features — from chat to menus, to buttons, visual interfaces and much more. BOTS can be further categorized into 2 types — Good-Bots and Malicious-Bots. Example of Good-Bots are Search engine spiders whereas Malicious-Bots are generally used to launch malicious and harsh attacks.

Not to undermine, BOTS can interact with users of Internet-based services, using instant messaging (IM), Internet Relay Chat (IRC), or any other web interface such as Facebook Bots and Twitterbots. These chatterbots may grant people to ask questions in plain English and then prepare a proper response. These bots can often handle many functions, including weather broadcasting, identifying zip-code information, checking sports scores, converting currencies or other units, etc., while others might be used for entertainment, such as SmarterChild on AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger.

One of the acts of IRC bots might be to run as a background process of a communication channel, reviewing on certain phrases articulated by participants. This is sometimes used as a help service for inexperienced users, or for censorship of profanity.

Uses of Bots: Most times, bots are used in social media sites by marketing companies. One of the common uses of these bots is for sending automatic follow-ups, likes and comments on their social posts and profiles — this is to grab attention from real users. MonsterSocial and Instagress are two most prominent social media marketing bots, and Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest are a few to name. Instagress has been the most favored Instagram bot for quite a sometime now.

Some of the malicious bots and botnets are Spambots, Downloader programs, website scrapers, viruses-n-worms, Botnets, zombie computers, etc. These malicious bots have their own strategy to send miscellaneous data, like Spambots are used to harvest email addresses from contact or guestbook pages, Downloader programs are used to suck bandwidth by downloading entire websites. Website scrapers are used to grab content of websites and re-use it illegally on automatically generated pages so on.

Bots are employed against entertainment event-ticketing sites for black-marketing by buying up good seats for concerts. By using BOTS, they unfairly obtain best seats for themselves while depriving the general public from having a fair chance to obtain good seats. This is just an instance but there are a lot of such malicious things these kinds of bots are encouraged to do. A few of them includes — used to increase views on YouTube videos, to increase traffic count on analytics reporting to extract money from advertisers, in forums to automatically post inflammatory or nonsensical posts harming others.

Antidote: The most extensively used anti-bot technique is the use of CAPTCHA. It is a form of test used to differentiate between a human user and a not so sophisticated AI-powered bot. It uses graphically encoded human-readable text. Some examples of providers are, Recaptcha, commercial companies such as Minteye, Solve Media, and NuCaptcha etc. However, they are not flawless and fail in preventing bots as they can be circumvented by computer character recognition, security holes etc.