Bots, Agents & Assistants


Bot is of course short for robot, and just like the shortened form bots tend to be simpler than robots.  Often bots are so-called softbots, or software robots, and robots are actually associated more often with “hardbots” or physical robots.  There is a widely held school of thought in robotics that a robot without a body can not be a true robot (because it lacks context).  For instance, video game robot AI is not useful in physical robots, because they are outside the context or “frame” of the game.  Chatbot is of course a bot that chats, or “dialog system”, formerly referred to as a chatterbot.  The term chatbot is increasingly preferred over chatterbot, because the chatbots of today are much smarter than the chattering toys of yesterday.

Agents actually do things, even practical things, and so may be seen as more sophisticated than simple bots, automata or automatons.  A multi-agent system is composed of multiple interacting agents.  Windows desktop agents include:

Assistants are the new breed of usually mobile apps that try to do real things for real people, in this way assistants are often more than just “dialog systems”.  The dialog system is the user interface, or so-called voice user interface.  This new breed of assistants tries to manipulate the mobile phone operating system and interact with apps.  Assistants are also used in vehicle telematics, where GPS speech navigation is just the beginning of the smart car, and in home automation, with voice control of the smart home.

  • personal assistant 273
  • virtual assistant 269
  • software assistant 45
  • intelligent assistant 36
  • digital assistant 24
  • online assistant 15
  • automated assistant 6


See also:

Dialog Systems in Smart Home Automation & DomoticsDialog Systems in Vehicle Telematics