Telephone exchange operators in Yaesu, Japan, 1902.
Telephone exchange operators in Yaesu, Japan, 1902. (source: Wikimedia Commons)

The workplace is a rich venue for bots that help with productivity and collaboration. In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I focus on workplace bots. We begin by talking with Jassim Latif, head of partnerships at Slack, about bots written by outside developers for scheduling, organizing meetings, and managing human resources. “We’re building toward a future where the value of these apps and services that people are building on top of Slack far outweigh the value of Slack on its own,” Latif says.

You might know that Skomoroch is CEO of a bot startup called Skipflag, but he hasn’t given any public demonstrations of the product he’s building—until now. Rover, Skipflag’s bot, scans messages from Slack and “turns conversations into knowledge,” Skomoroch says. In this episode of the podcast, Skomoroch shows off Rover’s integration with the Amazon Echo.

Join us at O’Reilly’s upcoming Bot Day on October 19, 2016, in San Francisco for insight on messaging bots, business bots, and more.

Bot of the week

We discuss Allo, Google’s new messaging application that includes Google’s AI assistant—appropriately called Assistant. The bot provides structured Google search results in a chat interface, and its capabilities blur the line between voice bots and text-based bots.  Skomoroch calls it “the best bot I’ve seen so far.”