The less effective the chatbot is at understanding the customer's request, the more e Fax saves by not fulfilling it!
To pursue this hypothesis, I left a message with e Fax's "investor relations" spokeswoman, who, I was told, fielded media inquiries, and set about learning all I could about chatbots.
EFax turns out to be no more eager to take press calls than it is to cancel customer accounts.
Although the investor-relations spokeswoman's voice mail said, "Your call is very important to us," she didn't answer it.
He is the first chatbot to pass the Turing test before a national audience.
The value in engaging more directly with followers has obvious loyalty-building potential for newspapers who struggle to pull in repeat site visitors, and the challenge of figuring out how to personalize content for more direct distribution has captured the attention of newsroom innovators.
I used to think that Fox News' Glenn Beck was a dangerous demagogue.
But after spending a couple of days researching the consumer applications of "chatterbots" or "chatbots"—computers programmed to simulate human conversation—I've come to the conclusion that, in fact, Beck represents a breakthrough in computer engineering.
News-writing bots may have faded from hedlines for the time being, but that could be because our industry has found a new futuristic fixation: direct news distribution bots through apps like Quartz, Facebook Messenger and even Slack.
It’s a cool premise: download an app and let the news come to you in bite-sized chunks.