They can help fix your car, save you money, even save you a trip to the doctor. They're called 'chatbots', and you can use them right now in Facebook.
Want someone to search and find coupons? Pennycat, will comb the internet looking for discount codes. You simply send pennycat a facebook message with where you're shopping. I say "Macy's" and the Pennycat bot searched for and found discount codes that will save me money on coffee makers, shipping and other items at checkout.
If you're just now trying chatbots, PennyCat is a good one to try first.
Joy will keep a close eye on your mental health through Facebook messages. Send Joy a message to get started. It'll ask some basic questions, like "have you been depressed or worried." It'll ask you to make a note when you're feeling good about things or just feeling blue. Joy will respond with an inspirational message or gif.
Recipes Lab is a good starter bot for the kitchen, rather than opening an app or searching Pinterest, send a Facebook message to Recipes Lap with one word. If you message "Dinner", you'll get a reply in seconds with ideas. Select the one you want and you get the recipe and nutritional information.
Fitmeal keeps track of how you're eating. Send a message of what you just had, the Fitmeal chatbot keeps a running diary. It'll even remind you to enter your meals and make suggestions on whether you should eat more fruits or vegetables. Research has shown that keeping a journal of the foods you eat will help you stay healthy. Over time this chatbot learns more about you and the interaction becomes more personal.
Save yourself a trip to the doctor for minor things, and chat with a doctor in Messenger. Doctors are participating in the chatbot Health Tap. Ask a question such as "what can I take for a migraine", and real doctors will respond with answers or articles they've written on the subject. If you'd like to take it further the chatbot will connect you to a doctor facetoface for consultation.
Are chatbots easier to use than an app? In most cases yes. What's cool about chatbots is you're communicating with people or computerized people directly in Facebook Messenger.
Chatbots work now in Facebook Messenger, Skype, email, Slack and several other platforms. New chatbots are being released every day.
Check out www.botlist.co for a list of available chatbots Our YouTube video with stepbystep directions on how to find and use chatbots.