In which programming language is Kik made

Artificial intelligence: Messenger Kik launches bot store

The messenger app Kik has set up a bot shop where users can find artificial intelligence with which they can talk. At the start, offers from partners such as H&M, The Weather Channel and Vine are available. In this way, users can call up information via chat or receive fashion advice.

The shop is also open to external developers via programming interfaces (APIs). According to the announcement, Kik checks every new bot by hand, probably to avoid incidents like Microsoft's racist Twitter bot Tay. The offer can be viewed on the web, but you cannot chat with the bots there.

In his blog post, Kik describes the bots as a way to easily expand the medium of chat: "You don't have to download anything, you don't have to re-register, and you can use a familiar interface: chat."

Kik Bot Shop (Screenshot: ZDNet.de)

Kik can boast a user base of at least 275 million users. It does not show how many of them are active each month. As a unique selling proposition, Kik states that (unlike Snapchat, for example) it does not use phone numbers, only usernames and provides filters "that you can use to determine who you want to talk to." The program is particularly popular with US teenagers, that the FBI has called it a "problem app" that is hindering its investigation.

Observers expect that Facebook will also present an Art Bot Shop at the Facebook F8 conference (April 12 and 13 in San Francisco) next week - namely for its Messenger. Axel Springer Verlag is already experimenting with a “picture ticker” and a soccer transfer ticker. The offers should automatically respond to inquiries within minutes. There has also recently been speculation about advertising in Messenger. As early as January, Facebook had announced unspecified “new functions” for the current year.

Last year, Facebook M was presented: "In contrast to other AI-based services on the market, M can actually do tasks for you," explained David Marcus, the former PayPal boss who is now responsible for messaging at Facebook. "It can buy goods, have gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, organize trips, make appointments and much more." M is "trained and monitored by people".

Google is also working on a way to communicate with chatbots via instant messages. They should be able to answer questions and solve problems. And Amazon's Alexa Voice Services, which can be used via the Echo loudspeaker system, for example, are also nothing more than an isolated chatbot - albeit voice-controlled instead of text-controlled.

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