Although they may not be the type of humanoid robots you imagine, roaming the streets like a scene out of the movie "I, Robot"; chatbots are on the march nonetheless.
Many in the technology sector think chatbots—interactive messaging powered by artificial intelligence (AI)—are the next big form of communication, and their prevalence is already larger than you might expect. Microsoft recently had an embarrassing experiment with its chatbot experiment, while Facebook may be set to roll out a version of its own, Techcrunch reported last week.
Many investors around Silicon Valley also see this as one of the next wave of disruptive technologies. Phil Libin, venture capitalist and co-founder of Evernote, recently told "Closing Bell" that "the world is about to be re-written, and bots are going to be a big part of the future…we are going to be making products over the next few years that fit much more naturally."
So what exactly are these chatbots that are popping up all over? And will they spell the end of humanity as we know it, a frequent fear associated with AI?