This article in TechCrunch identifies the huge investment Facebook has made in bot technology, having already deployed 34,000 bots to curate news and personal feeds. To assist bot developers however, FaceBook recognizes that bots, as with all machine learning technologies, needs a feedback loop. To assist Facebook will rollout bot analytics that provides feedback that includes
“Facebook already provided analytics to other developers on its platform, and bots have seen a massive surge of interest since they first made their debut earlier this year. That interest has not just come from users curious about how they work; developers are also very keen to see if bots really are the next big thing.
Twist tells me that for now, the analytics will cover bots built just for Messenger. But given how bots are making their way to other communication platforms, from competing messaging apps like Viber’s through to enterprise-focused platforms like Slack, don’t be surprised if Facebook expands its bot analytics to other platforms beyond Messenger.
“It is something we have talked about and haven’t ruled it out,” he said. “It’s possible, absolutely, since we already support analytics for other platforms for apps. But right now we’re prioritizing support for Messenger bots.”
Analytics, of course, is an essential tool for a developer, both to be able to track how well something is working and other kids of feedback. Here Facebook says that features that will be included are reaches across mobile and desktop devices and measurement of customers’ journeys across apps and websites.
Developers also will be able to view reports on messages sent, messages received, and people who block or unblock your app. And they will also get access to anonymized data reports on bot demographics, which include details like age, gender, education, interests, country and language to figure out who is using your bot.”
Despite Zuckerberg’s claims that lies circulating on Facebook had no impact on the election, he has now admitted that “hoaxes” may need to be tempered. Bots would appear to be the perfect tool for this. The bots can recognize a hoax that has already been identified and proven false on traditional media that perform fact checking, or rely on organizations such as PolitiFact. The bot would detect the lies as they are circulated and send a correction with the reference to the reliable source that de-bunks it.
Facebook’s concern that such a solution should only be deployed if it corrects the same number of messages across all political parties is entirely ridiculous.
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group
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