A huge topic of interest at this year's Inman Connect New York event was bots -- digital assistants that can do anything from qualify leads to help buyers with home search to give a homeowner a voice-prompted home valuation estimate. OK, bots are hot -- but how do you build one, and how do they work? Pete Walsh, director of artificial intelligence at Structurely, and Nate Joens, CEO at Structurely, gave a rundown at the inaugural Hacker Connect event on Monday, breaking down the steps to building a bot. What's a bot? A bot is an application that lives inside a messaging interface -- and there are developers out there who believe bots will replace websites and apps entirely at some point. The key differentiator between a bot and most technology is the word "conversation" -- bots can have one. And building a digital entity that can talk to a person is probably a lot more complicated than you'd expect. "While most engineers know how to build a mobile app and a website," tho...
- The key differentiator between a bot and most technology is the word "conversation" -- bots can have one.
- Bots (like humans) need to be able to understand that different keywords mean the same thing (such as "2-bed" and "two-bdrm").
- Machine learning algorithms help bots extract meaning from sentences and data from queries to eventually fulfill a user request.
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