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TechCrunch's Messenger bot gets smarter and more conversational

Travis Bernard
TechCrunch's Messenger bot gets smarter and more conversational

The best bot on Messenger just got better. We've teamed up with Chatfuel and Bitext to add Bitext's NLP Middleware to the TechCrunch Messenger bot. This enhanced version adds functionality for conversational interaction, improved natural language understanding and unique features like negation understanding. You can check out our new and improved Messenger bot here.

To get a better understanding of what the new functionality looks like in action, here are some examples of what the latest version of the bot can do.

1) Understands more natural language queries

More complex but natural queries, like "do you have anything about Google"; "give me Facebook news" or "show me the latest about SpaceX" are now recognized by the bot.

2) Conversational double intent

You can now use the word "and" to search for news that shares multiple characteristics. For example, you could type "I want news on Microsoft and Apple" to find news that specifically mentions both companies. Another example would be "show me news about Messenger and bots."

3) Conversational negation

This allows you to exclude certain items in your search. For example, if you wanted to see news about Amazon but didn't want to see anything about Whole Foods you could type "I want news about Amazon but not Whole Foods." Another example would be "show me news about Apple but not iPhones."

We're also looking into adding some other updates, including conversational pagination and video search. There's also a possibility that we might bring this bot to Slack. More to come soon.

You can check out our new and improved Messenger bot here.