What's hot... what's bot

And why there are more 'fart bots' than you think

Which industries is Artificial Intelligence ready to disrupt? Accountancy? Probably. Banking? Er, not quite yet. Or, just maybe it is?

For those of us who follow such things, it’s been a confusing week of news reported on Forrester’s latest study Bots Aren’t Ready To Be Bankers. It makes the somewhat depressing claim that it’s be another two to three years before AIs can help customers with accounts. The reason? Bots could mess up a transaction.

But the call for caution was laughed off by those with a direct financial interest.

“The banks that sit down and wait two to three years doing nothing … the digital banks are going to eat them for lunch,” according to Dror Oren, co-founder of AI darling Kasisto.


Our call? AI is advancing quickly but in a lumpy non-linear fashion. So he’s probably right. But the early majority adoption probably won’t consider adoption for another three years.

Meanwhile, accounting software company Xero believes bots will keep it ahead of the field. They’re launching them on Facebook Messenger, iMessage and Slack, giving users another way to access their business data, as well as a means to hire financial professionals in their area.

But will these bots really be AI? Tech commentator Phil Lubin has shared the three criteria he believes bots need to satisfy. He calls single-use bots – those that do little more than order pizza, check the weather or send flowers – fart bots. Which is a little dismissive for our tastes.

After all, you’ve got to start somewhere. And increasingly clever bots will diversify into an HR function, according to Silicon Valley entrepreneur Bobby Mukherjee. Currently developing a chatbot called Jane, Bobby’s virtual HR executive will deal with day to day queries, without disturbing the humans in HR, and mine data to improve processes.

But will it work Bobby? Or will it be a series of fart bots? Because Facebook Messenger chief David Marcus has admitted some of his app bots aren’t particularly impressive. And, Bobby, we reckon he’s got quite a few more resources – human and otherwise – at his disposal.

So, should you bot? Or not?

It’s confusing. But we’ll keep you posted.


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