2016 is shaping up to be the year of the bot. Late last month, Microsoft made a big bet on tools that will help developers create artificial intelligence software meant to improve the lives of humans by completing small tasks, and last week Facebook launched an entire bot platform for its communication tool, Messenger.
I invited my buddy and colleague Casey Newton — who wrote one of my favorite features on bots — to explain the technology. Newton has some predictions for the applications of bots that I think you'll find interesting. But in the meantime, the most useful bots may be the ones that just order a pizza. The episode pairs well with our recent episode on artificial intelligence, so be sure to give that a listen, too!