Donald Trump’s supporters think they are talking to a Trump representative when in some cases they are actually talking to a chatbot.
Chatbots are computers designed to simulate human conversation. Bang Digital Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bang Holdings Group, says it has created the first Artificial Intelligence personality to sell products to humans via Facebook Messenger and it’s using presidential candidate Donald Trump as its test case. Facebook has not responded to a inquiry about the Donald chatbot.
The Bang team chose Trump because of his enthusiastic supporters. His Facebook page has over 400,000 followers and people send The Donald Bot messages.
“Remarkably, although most of the Donald’s supporters understand they are not conversing directly with Trump, many believe they are speaking with a human representative,” said Steve Berke, chief executive officer of Bang Holdings. “They seem to have no idea that they have been chatting and even negotiating the purchase price of a product with a robot.” Bang says it is the first company to break the A.I. technological barrier.
The Donald’s latest post got 1,438 shares and 347 comments. One woman wrote, “what happens when they cheat and don’t allow you to win,” as if she was actually conversing with Trump. Bang’s developers say they don’t really agree with Trump, but saw the ardent followers as a good test subject. For now, Trump only offers one product to his fans, a digital download of the U.S. Constitution.
The product is still in beta, but Bang believes it can eliminate the need for companies to staff huge rooms of customer service representatives in foreign countries. He notes these people tend to use call scripts anyway.
Facebook introduced the bots for Messenger Platform in April of this year. The idea was to partner with businesses to build deeper interactions with their customers on Messenger. It is in a Beta stage. Facebook said at the time that bots can provide weather and traffic updates or even live automated messages. Facebook is enabling developers to build complex bots that can interpret natural language.
Bang’s real focus is on cannabis related digital content. They hope to use this new technology in its core cannabis marketing business, though Facebook has had an uneven approach to cannabis on its site.