BotBeat: This week’s top bot stories

VentureBeat’s Bots Channel tracks all the important and interesting news related to the exploding field of bots and messaging. And each week we select the top stories and present them in in our free weekly newsletter, BotBeat. We include news stories by VentureBeat staff, guest articles from leading figures in the bots community, and a good number of posts from a wide variety of outlets. You can subscribe to our BotBeat newsletter to receive this information in your inbox every week.
Here’s this week’s newsletter:
Facebook Messenger announced several new features this morning and shared numbers (11,000 bots!) about the platform’s growth since it creation in April.
The work of 19-year-old Stanford student Joshua Browder grabbed a lot of people’s attention this week. His free DoNotPay bot has been used to successfully challenge more than 160,000 traffic tickets in London and New York. His next bot will use IBM’s Watson to help refugees apply for asylum.
Meanwhile, Ilya Gelfenbeyn, who is CEO of bot platform API.ai, told us exactly why he believes conversational interfaces will replace apps in the not-so-distant future.
Chris Messina, creator of the hashtag, launched MessinaBot. It’s a personal assistant of sorts, one that can schedule appointments, track his recent posts and podcasts, and even present his favorite cocktail recipes. Messina famously called 2016 the year of conversational commerce — before the tech giants created their platforms. (MessinaBot was made in part by Esther Crawford, who also shares her story of a job lost and a robot gained.)
Looking ahead to mid-July, Japanese chat app maker Line is expected to stage the biggest tech IPO of 2016.
See more bots coverage here.
From the VentureBeat Bots channel
Facebook Messenger now has 11,000 chatbots for you to try
Facebook today released new statistics on the growth of chatbots on its Messenger app and announced new features related to chatbots.

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The DoNotPay bot has beaten 160,000 traffic tickets — and counting
A bot made to challenge traffic tickets has been used more than 9,000 times by New Yorkers, according to DoNotPay maker Joshua Browder.
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Kasisto’s new bots want to be the Ask Me Anything of personal finance
Kasisto, a spinoff of Siri-maker SRI International, added two bots to the personal finance bot space today with the introduction of MyKAI and KAI Banking.
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Amazon Echo now lets you enable new Alexa skills with your voice
Amazon today is announcing updates for Alexa, the voice-activated virtual assistant at the core of its Echo line of smart speakers.
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The bot revolution: How conversational interfaces will replace apps
We’re at the cusp of a sharp rise in devices that have no screen but do have conversational voice controls, such as the Amazon Echo.
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Chris Messina, the inventor of the hashtag, just launched his own chatbot
Chris Messina, developer experience lead at Uber and inventor of the hashtag, said back in January that 2016 is “the year of conversational commerce.” Today, he’s launching his own personal assistant chatbot, called MessinaBot.
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5 reasons mobile apps still rule: The Conversational Economy, Part 2
If these powerful forces and players are fueling the rapid rise of the Conversational Economy, why aren’t we there yet?
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U.K. investigates Brexit petition fraud after bots allegedly inflate signature count
Following the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom’s government is investigating the addition of fake signatures in the petition for a second referendum, which has received more 3.7 million signatures.
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Beyond BotBeat
Apple iPhone’s Siri Is A ‘Game Of Thrones’ Superfan, So We Tested Her Knowledge
In case you needed reminding that the robot apocalypse may be closer than you think, iPhone users should ask their phone who Jon Snow’s parents are.
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The Amazon Echo Is Winning the Race to a Screenless Future
The Amazon Echo is an unlikely hit. After all, the world’s largest online retailer hasn’t always won its bets on hardware.
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You Need Full-Blown Apps Less Than Ever, And Slack’s New Buttons Prove It
In operating systems, workplace tools, and beyond, the best parts of an app increasingly live outside the app itself.
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BotBeat: This week’s top bot stories
BotBeat: This week’s top bot stories



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