Facebook ‘bots’ could radically change how we shop online

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has revealed a new AI chatbot platform on Messenger that he believes could change the way customers communicate with businesses and shop online.

The ‘Bot Platform’, unveiled at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco this month, will allow customers to browse goods, choose a price range, see related products, compare businesses, chat with companies to get help and even make purchases through the platform.

Companies will also be able to send a sponsored message to people who have liked their products, as well as send promotional deals and price offers to encourage them to make a purchase.

However, these sponsored messages will be limited in a number of ways, according to Facebook vice-president David Marcus.

Currently, it is being tested in the US and Mr Zuckerberg hopes the platform will replace traditional websites and apps.

However, it is said to “have a long way to go” before achieving this and is still in its beta phase. Currently, the AI system are said to struggle to understand users, but eventually the bots are predicted to get better at understanding natural human language.