What the Tech: Benefits behind chatbots

When was the last time you spoke to a robot? You can now directly through Facebook. They can help fix your car, save you money, even save you a trip to the doctor.

Want someone to search and find coupons? Pennycat will comb the internet looking for discount codes. You simply send Pennycat a Facebook message with where you’re shopping. I say Macy’s and the Pennycat bot searched for and found discount codes that will save me money at checkout.  If you’re just now trying chatbots, this is a good one to try first.

Recipes Lab is a good starter bot for the kitchen. Send a message to Recipes Lab with one word, dinner. You’ll get a reply in seconds with ideas, select the one you want and you get the recipe and nutrition information.

Fitmeal keeps track of how you’re eating. Send a message of what you just had, the Fitmeal chatbot keeps a tab. It’ll even remind you to enter your meals and then suggest that you add more fruit or vegetables to your diet. Over time it learns more about you and the interaction becomes more personal.

Save yourself a trip to the doctor for minor things doctors are participating in the chatbot Health Tap. Ask him or her what you need to know, like what should I take for a migraine. Doctors have answered that question before and you’ll see what they’ve recommended.

Easier to use than an app? In most cases yes. What’s cool about chatbots, is you’re communicating with people…or computerized people directly in Facebook messages. They’re worth checking out.

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