Chatbots — AI-enabled messaging programs that respond to text-based requests — are the latest innovation that startups and corporations are using to serve existing customers and bring in new ones. Companies across a wide variety of industries are building these tools on popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Kik, and Hipchat, as well as on their own websites and apps. Some are even available by text, to help users do things like fight parking tickets, respond to customer service inquiries, and order tacos.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you see we’re missing a chatbot that’s currently up and running, please share the link with us in the comments section. We’ll add new, significant chatbots to the list over time.
This post is organized into categories. Click on the industry below to jump to that section.
TacoBot, Taco Bell
Taco Bell’s TacoBot lets you order anything from their menu without leaving your Slack messenger. You can even customize your order by adding or removing elements (no lettuce, etc.) using normal human speech.
DOM The Pizza Bot, Domino’s
DOM helps users effortlessly order Domino’s pizza, wings, and more, right from their Facebook Messenger accounts. As you can see, it’s also knowledgeable about the latest fintech trends.
FourSquare may have correctly predicted Chipotle’s earnings, but this bot will help you predict when your Chipotle order will be ready. Text your order to this friendly bot (you save your preferred location for convenience) and pick it up when you want it.
Whole Foods Market
Once you’ve perused their e-commerce site or brick-and-mortar store, chat with this Messenger bot for a delicious recipe for your next meal.
Burger King is developing a Facebook chatbot to effortlessly take your order and have it ready for you at your preferred location.
Hit up Pizza Hut’s forthcoming chatbot on Twitter or Facebook Messenger and have a hot, delicious pie on its way to your door in minutes. The system plans to have access to your account details and history, making reordering in the future a snap.
Google’s forthcoming chatbot integrates with your phone’s messaging system to keep the conversation flowing: as you text back and forth with your friends, it helps out by grabbing you sports scores, finding dinner reservations, and even offering you auto-responses that let you reply with a single touch instead of coming up with a witty reply yourself. It even learns over time what responses suit you best.
Microsoft’s chatbot on Twitter was designed to learn and grow based on input from the Twitterverse. The results brought some of the internet’s worst aspects to the forefront, ending with the naive bot retweeting hurtful and embarrassing content from internet trolls before finally being retired.
HP Print Bot, HP
Effortlessly print documents from your Facebook Messenger window, courtesy of HP.
This soon-to-be-acquired tech giant released a spate of chatbots in June of 2016, including a weather bot, a news bot, and a “pet bot,” a monkey that will talk to you as you take care of it.
Tay might have gotten all the press in the US with its at-times offensive tweets. What you might not know is that Microsoft has a different AI chatbot running in China, mainly interacting through that country’s Weibo micro-blogging platform. There it is used by about 40 million people with much less outrageous results.
NLUI Server Demo, Salesforce
Salesforce’s chatbot lets you query your database using natural language. It speaks English and Spanish, but you don’t try to get personal. If you ask how it’s doing, it won’t answer you.
Siri was the phone assistant that started the most recent wave of widespread interest in voice-operated chatbots. She’ll find you answers to straightforward questions, enter items into your calendar, send messages, and more.
Virtual Assistant, Autodesk
Autodesk, makers of CAD and related software, has this virtual assistant to help with login, installation, eligibility, and activation issues on their Education Community website.
This chatbot works for AT&T BusinessDirect and tackles a variety of customer needs (adding new lines on family plans, taking advantage of discounts, upgrading devices etc.) via written and spoken responses.
Entellio, Tech Mahindra
India’s Tech Mahindra provides of IT, networking, and business process outsourcing services worldwide. Their Entellio conversation agent is a self-learning NLP-/AIML-based (that’s “artificial intelligence markup language”) enterprise chatbot. Its primary use is to replace a wide array of mobile customer service apps. Users will be able to contact Entellio via mobile apps or web pages. It specializes in conversational speech to help search, converse and also provide support and is even supposed to be learning to understand human emotions. Entellio will be released in 2017.
The Wall Street Journal
The WSJ’s Facebook chatbot will update you with headlines and news from the venerable paper.
The Weather Channel
When you want your weather via chatbot, you have lots of options (including a cat wearing a poncho on Facebook Messenger) but The Weather Channel’s bot gives you the forecast direct from the National Weather Service inside your Kik messenger.
Chat with this Facebook Messenger bot to get headlines and news.
You can access this bot through Facebook Messenger, but ironically, you can’t actually chat with it. Instead you access a menu of headlines and news stories.
This bot from Royal Dutch Airlines doesn’t help you book your flight, but once you have your trip set up, it will help you with updates, check-in notifications, and boarding documents, all through Facebook Messenger.
Ticketbot for Airasia
This simple bot helps you find prices for any Airasia route using simple real-language commands through Facebook Messenger.
Sofia, TAP Portugal Airline
Built into the TAP website, Sofia handles basic customer service questions, can assist with check-in and special guest needs, and is also well versed in the airline’s rewards program.
More than half of Amtrak’s tickets are bought online, so having an online assistant is a useful tool. Julie responds to customer service queries and directs users to relevant information and web pages or can direct them to a human customer service representative.
Jenn, Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines’ Jenn offers friendly responses to most customer service and reservation issues, directing your browser to the appropriate page to suit your needs.
Tim, Airbus Helicopters
Airbus is more than just airplanes. They also sell helicopters and have a virtual assistant to help users with their technical documentation questions. His name is Tim and he guides users through Airbus’s customer extranet portal.
Hannah, M&S Bank
In addition to providing basic customer service, this bot also features an In-Conversation Survey (ICS) that measures the effectiveness of its responses.
Ask Me, Citibank India
This simple customer service chatbot is built into their site and designed to help customers with basic questions. It won’t have a conversation with you, but you can use natural language to query their customer service FAQ, and ask things like “How can I close my account?” and “How can I change my address?”
This chatbot handles customer service for HSBC’s commercial clients in the UK and resides on a secure section of their site.
Virtual Assistant, E*Trade
E*Trade’s virtual assistant is only available to users who are logged into the site and helps them with trading, account management, and other routine tasks.
Aetna’s Ann isn’t very chatty (she won’t answer things like “How are you?”) but she does handle login and registration issues. Opening up a chat window with Ann even brings up the most common help issues to make the process even more convenient.
Online Assistant, Lloyd’s Insurance
This chatbot answers the most commonly asked insurance questions and can talk about car, home, travel, and pet insurance.
Insurance Help System, Bank of Scotland Insurance
Users launch this chatbot from their website’s search bar, a twist on the usual way chatbots kick in. It answers questions on home insurance.
When Mark Zuckerberg revealed at F8 that the social giant was opening its Messenger app to bots, he called out 1-800-Flowers as one of his faves: “It’s pretty ironic: To order from 1-800-Flowers, you never have to call 1-800-Flowers again.” Customers seem to be finding the bot handy: As of late June 2016, 70% of customers ordering through the chat bot are new 1-800-Flowers customers.
This Kik chatbot will help you build outfits around any piece of clothing. Chat with it and it’ll give you fashion advice and direct you to H&M’s e-commerce site to help you buy anything you need to complete your ensemble.
Sephora’s Kik chatbot helps you out with makeup tips and directs you to products.
Hello Barbie, Mattel
Hello Barbie is the companion chatbot built into the Wi-Fi-enabled talking Barbie doll called Hello Barbie. The doll says things like “I love hanging out with you” and “You know what I want to talk about? FRIENDS!” The big new feature here is the bot’s ability to remember things from previous conversations and keep users engaged over time (favorite color, hopes for the future, which startups they think are cool).
Ask Rachel, Tesco
Billed as their “Head of Virtual Customer Service,” Rachel is built into their site and answers questions about phone deals and service, but can also make small talk with users, chatting about her family and pets.
Yoko, Toshiba France
Yoko is Toshiba France’s first-line customer service chatbot. She’s able to handle many of the issues that users have about their electronics (“my battery won’t charge,” “I get no picture on my TV,” etc.) and can escalate issues to a human rep when needed.
Online Support, Viewsonic
Bots aren’t just for ordering tacos. Viewsonic’s Online Support utility is built into their site and helps users through setup and troubleshooting their wide range of products (TVs, projectors, tablets, digital media devices, etc). Just choose your product type and ask your question using natural language and it’ll find relevant responses in their help system.
College Stylist Bot/Target College Bot, Target
Target’s chatbot will help you (or your college-bound offspring) find the right clothes, storage solutions, and other gear to suit this new phase of their life as you chat with it through Kik messenger.
VSPINK, Victoria’s Secret
Get help finding the perfect bra — start chatting with this Kik chatbot and it’ll ask you some questions about your current bra’s fit and help you find the right size. You can even tell it about your day and it’ll recommend a bra for you.
Emma, Toys R Us
Emma has been helping Toy R Us’s UK customers since 2011 and can answer questions about deliveries, Gold Cards, and searching for items.
Luigi, Fiat Argentina
Chatbots can be proactive as well as reactive, and Fiat’s Luigi is designed to help new Fiat owners after they’ve already made their purchase as well as helping prospective buyers make a decision.
The iconic black car service wants to be everywhere you are. Start a chat with this enterprising bot on Facebook Messenger and end up in a car speeding towards your next destination.
Spock Chat, Paramount Pictures
This promotional movie tie-in bot lets users chat on Skype with a bot portraying the beloved, logical Vulcan.
CODMessenger/Lt. Reyes, Activision
The makers of the long-running Call of Duty video game series decided to tease their next game with a Facebook Messenger bot portraying Lt. Reyes. The never-before-seen character gives players clues to solve a mystery that will unlock new insights about the next installment.
Ninja Turtles, Paramount Pictures
Launched in May of 2016 to promote the latest TMNT movie, this Kik chatbot gives users the experience of chatting with the four martial artist turtles. Mostly they just want to talk about pizza, though.
The NBA’s Facebook Messenger bot, called simply “NBA,” was launched in June, just in time for the Finals. The bot was able to give users game updates, highlights, and top plays. It reportedly relied more on a list of approved commands and content than natural speech.
Officer Judy Hopps, Disney
Another movie tie-in promo Messenger chatbot takes the form of Officer Judy Hopps from Disney’s Zootopia, and invites users to help her solve a crime.
Doc Brown, Universal Studios
Built for “Back to the Future Day” (October 21, 2015), this chatbot would talk to Facebook users about the marvelous wonders of this modern age.
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