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- Actions on Google
The Google Home is a smart speaker device, similar to Amazon Echo, which can listen to your voice commands and help you perform tasks (such as switch on the lights). These tasks are called Actions on Google.
We cannot have a chatbot glossary without the definition of a chatbot of course!
Since the definition of a chatbot is fairly broad, let us start with what Wikipedia says: “A chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, chatterbox, Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.”
I actually like this definition even if it sounds a little technical, simply because it captures all the important aspects of a chatbot without being too long. Chatbots are actually used to conduct conversation via both auditory methods (e.g. Alexa) and textual methods (e.g. Mitsuku).
ChatOps refer to conversation driven software development. Using a conversational interface (such as issuing a command via Slack) to kick off scripts is a good example of ChatOps.
- Conversational Bot
A conversational bot is a chat bot which can carry out conversations which are both continuous and asynchronous.
To learn more, check out this O’Reilly Bots podcast episode where they interview Chris Messina.
- Directory (for bots)
Bot directories are simply listings of bots, similar to Yahoo’s directories when they first started.
It would be reasonable to expect that over time, people are more likely to use bot search engines and not bot directories, but it is still early days.
- Dory Bot
This is the typical chat bot you see in the wild today. A Dory bot is basically a bot which has no memory of what happened the previous time it spoke with you.
Robert Hoffer, serial entrepreneur, writes:
“No memory? You’re Dory the fish from the film Finding Nemo. That’s something today’s bots are suffering with. Ask Amazon’s Alexa: “What is the weather in New York City?” and you get the right answer. Then ask her “Name a few good restaurants there” and Alexa can’t remember where there is!”
- Notification Bot
Notification bots, sometimes called as 9 AM bots, are bots which send notifications (usually of new information) at a set time. A good example is the bot created by Harvard Business Review which sends you a gist of an article every day at 9 AM.
- Rich Interactions
Unlike regular text messaging applications, the best chatbots also offer rich interactions. A good example would be to display buttons to the user during a conversation. The buttons would be used to decide between two different branches of conversation (e.g. Check Account Balance or Make a Payment).
- Skeuomorphism of bots
Skeuomorphism is the design concept of making items represented resemble their real-world counterparts.  In the bot world, it means that most of the bots being released today are resembling their counterpart apps (what they are supposed to replace) and do not actually take advantage of the capabilities of bots such as the ability to be conversational. Naturally, we want to avoid bot skeuomorphism as much as possible.
ThingTon is a chatbot which acts as a conversational interface for the Internet of Things. It helps you interact with Smart Home devices via text messages.
IBM Watson is a question answering computer system which can answer questions which are posed in natural language. It became famous for winning Jeopardy competing against human contestants in 2011.