Every year Facebook initiates the largest developers conference to share the company’s innovations and its vision of how technology will evolve over the next number of years. This year, hundreds of companies and developers gathered in San Jose, California, to be the first to know about the latest launches of the biggest social network. Members of the Master of Code Global team attended the F8 conference to visit the presentation of our chatbot for one of the largest mobile communications subsidiaries: T-Mobile. Our Masters have shared their impressions on the speeches of the Facebook ambassadors and their own business insights.
Facebook creates an infrastructure for small businesses to maximize meeting their needs. Any coffee shop or beauty salon can create a Facebook business page and customize it for reaching their goals. For example, the new release of Messenger has made it possible to use multiple bots and CTA buttons with several different targeted actions on one page.
Updated Facebook Messenger, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, computer image recognition and machine learning are the key technologies that will significantly influence further technological progress. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
During last year’s F8 conference, Facebook introduced chat bots, the virtual interlocutors that host automated text messaging with users. Technology has opened up new opportunities for businesses to communicate with their target audiences; engaging and transforming them into clients. This year, bots have become the key element of the upgraded Messenger. Chatbots are equipped with analytics that track the number of users, clicks, activity times, the percentage of users blocking chat, the most popular products and more. The new native payment functionality makes it possible to make a purchase without leaving the chat.
The main message that Facebook broadcasts is every business should be presented on Messenger, and the company actively facilitates that. The analytics collects information in a wide range of indicators, which gives business owners the opportunity to study their target audience and as a result- the opportunity to make marketing more targeted and accurate. Large companies use the platform as a marketing channel and automate the functions performed by people: from online consulting to sales. The most successful chatbot experiences were presented at the separate F8 session. The T-Mobile bot we developed was among other cases. It combines both functions: consulting and sales.
Artificial intelligence (AI) boosts bot progress. Until now it was a problem for chatbots when a user would write long and complex sentences, because they couldn’t understand them. The AI algorithms solve this problem. Machines learn to communicate with people, but they need our help to do that as they can not do what they aren’t taught. In the future, it will cause the appearance of new technical and linguistic professions to provide preparation of the synonymous base. This will mean bots could understand the different formulations of one request, as well as the technical implementation. People expect better understanding and more accurate responses from bots.
Virtual Reality ( VR)
Virtual reality has a lot of potential to be used for business needs, but the content development cost is very high. The technology requires the ultra-high-definition display and powerful GPUs that connects to a powerful computer.
Currently, VR is available to a limited number of businesses that can afford the required technical equipment, hiring the team of specialists and content development. So, augmented reality comes to the aid of less solvent businesses.
Read also: How to Create Virtual Reality Content
Augmented Reality (AR)
Technologies have arrived at the fact that the interface becomes a real world, but with some virtual contributions. Augmented reality has the opportunity to become a trend among small and medium businesses because the technology does not require using glasses; you only need a phone camera. A classic example of using AR is Pokemon Go. Entrepreneurs can use the technology for virtual fittings and for placing various labels on commercial goods.
Machine Learning (ML)
If you are wondering why the Facebook app takes up about 400 MB of your phone’s memory, here’s the answer: Android and iOS apps have built-in object recognition features in real time via Messenger’s camera.
Facebook monitors what the phone camera is focused on and what’s happening in the real world and uses this information to evolve the machine learning. We share vast amounts of personal information with companies. On one hand, it goes beyond our privacy, but on the other hand, it serves as a material for training AI. Progress without that is impossible.
The Caffe 2 project launched by Facebook is a possible solution to the privacy infringement problem. The framework allows you to experiment with ML. The info is processed directly on the user’s mobile device and sent to the cloud in a depersonalized format. Perhaps there will be something similar to graphic cards processors in devices to accelerate machine learning.
Subsequently, ML will be on all mobile devices and the largest players in the technology field are already releasing their ML libraries. At F8 conference, Facebook introduced its ML Kit, which allows the implementation of natural language processing (NLP). The data for processing used to be sent to the server. Thanks to the frameworks most of the predictions are carried out on the users’ devices without delays now. Libraries will work synchronously with partners: Caffe 2 by Facebook, Core ML by Google, TensorFlow and TensorFlowLite by Google.
The Dotted Line
During F8 conference, chatbots were only starting to gain popularity. Companies from all over the world presented their bot expertise at the industry’s largest event – Chatbot Summit Berlin. Among the hundreds of stands, we presented our own.
Inspired by the experience of participating in world-class events, Master of Code Global gained the support of Deloitte, The Royal Bank of Canada, TDS and inVision Edge to organize our own bot event in Winnipeg, Canada. At Bot Summit Winnipeg, we shared our expertise about how to use bots to grow business with local business owners.
Also published on Medium.