While many of us might be familiar with the term "bot" and even be using numerous of them in our daily lives, but when it comes to defining the term, we draw a blank. Since they're such inclusive part of our lives, we should have a basic understanding of what they are and what do they do.

To put it simply, the type of bot that we're talking about here is any kind of software that is capable of running automated tasks over the internet. But one must take into consideration that this is a big blanket that includes both malicious and beneficial technology alike.

The usage of bots by search engines to spread the web and archive new pages for future searchability purposes is considered as one of the most positive, important, and far-reaching examples of bot. On the other hand, they're also used for various malicious purposes, like artificially increasing views on web articles or YouTube videos or transmitting computer viruses. But, as they say every coin has two sides.

The recent times have seen a unprecedented increase in the popularity of chatbots and the amount of artificial intelligence being used in them, which has ultimately led to bots frequenting our daily tech updates.

What is a Chatbot?

Voice recognition and Artificial Intelligence technologies have been responsible for precipitating a new crop of technologies known as the so-called virtual assistants and chatbots. Apple's much-famous Siri is a bot, so are Microsoft's Cortana and tech giant Google's Alexa. But the list is getting longer by the day with numerous brands coming up with their own specialised chatbots. For example, Taco Bell recently launched TacoBot and Starbucks has its own chatbot barista. Closer home, LawRato.com, India’s leading lawyer search and legal advice platform launched country’s first self-help Facebook messenger chatbot last year Nicknamed “LawBot." The chatbot lets users search for legal answers, ask a free legal question and find the best lawyer for their legal requirement.

It was only last year that Microsoft's Indian born CEO Satya Nadella asserted that "bots are the new apps." While at the time he made the announcement, a lot of people in the real world weren't ready to buy his thought. Even now, the real world hasn't made up its mind about the importance of bots as its underlying technology hasn't evolved much since last year.

Why do bots matter?

There are several reasons why the general public needs to get acquainted with bots.

While it remains to be seen if bots become the primary way humans interface with technology, but one thing is for sure, they're becoming more and more capable by each passing day. Even in the scenario they aren't successful in overtaking the way humans use their personal devices, they are surely going the bear the responsibility of a lot of behind-the-scenes work.

Bots are known to offer humans a lot of benefits. They automate several inefficient human tasks, thus saving them time and resources. In fact, there a bots in the market that are helping humans conduct business, clean floors and even enhancing elder care.

But, before we end up being too dependent and deep into bots, we need to understand some of the important complications and downsides associated with the technology. As bots and their AI backing is becoming more pervasive and powerful by the day, it

However, there are important complications and downsides to understand. As bots and the AI backing them become more powerful and pervasive, it presents several sociological concerns. What will happen if these end up automating our jobs? Or if they work incorrectly, or if they get out of control?

Hence, the future would require the humans to have a deeper understanding about bots in order to apply that critical thinking for the betterment of the world around them. For instance, bots can help in fighting the war against fake news, which is currently being considered as one of the most important internet-age problems.

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