Bots are nice and exciting. Creating a bot from scratch is even nicer. You define your own bot, it’s character and function.
With a bit of fooling around, you can get an assistant. Bots used in companies, even irc ones are incredibly useful. They offer docs or wiki lookup, communication within and out of irc, command execution here and there, tickets etc etc.
But once you get the bot bug, you want to use bots everywhere, even on whatsapp!
Whatsapp and bots
Whatsapp bots are not so recent. Well, you tie a number to the bot account and configure it to handle responses. You can see a python bot here.
Well whatsapp started banning bots. Once they got confirmation of a number being a bot, it was banned. It put some projects on hold and some just created their own android apps for interacting with their bots, which made the once whatsapp bot a common bot again.
Why a bot in whatsapp is nice
- The main reason to have a bot at your disposal in whatsapp is that whatsapp is used a lot. Well for some functions you don’t really need a bot. e.g. to find the weather in your locality, just google it! Having a bot at fewer clicks reach is nice (at least it should theoretically save time)
- The second reason which stand good is group chat monitoring. Sometimes group chats go really out of control with this one ~swearing that one ~flooding the group with pics and that one ~being a real pest. Sometimes admins are just too overwhelmed or fear to kick someone. Having a bot managing things around can make important decisions more acceptable due to the impartiality of it. You just have to make sure that the bot’s command are not used too often or you’ll get a spammer and his bot on your hand.
- The third reason might be details or log lookups. Though you can manually search for a particular word or piece of text in conversations, a bot can do it quickly and easily. Furthermore, you can see when a particular person entered the group and the like.
Since whatsapp does not want custom bots as telegram does, the solution might lies in the integration of an assistive function / option already integrated. Though this option might be limited in terms of scope, it might provide the level of entertainment and functionality expected for the common need. A bit like the bots Quake irc network provides.
Options or scripts … or both …
- The most thrilling option would be letting users to include their own scripts using an existing language or defining a specific whatsapp-related language. A specific whatsapp language would be less prone to illegal activities. I can already imagine something . . .
bad word = swearWord
cmd = command
if (bad word) in msg :
switch (cmd) :
.wea = weatherCommand
country = weatherCountryPart
remaining = weatherLocalityPart
location.on = true
location.source = ipAddress
..-case (word1=.wea,word2=country,word3 to end= remaining) :
..-..-get weather at location
..- is one identation level
Well the above script is pretty simple, i complicated it a bit to get more user control (and make it appear more fancy).
The script above can be represented by options like:
-If swear words detected:
the ○● represent radio buttons.
Really simple! However, if the bot can do really amazing things, you’ll maybe fill in a lot of forms / screens . . . it depends.
Though i would not like it but including both options is wiser. Options used where you don’t need to make a fuss and scripts where you need a bit of looseness.
Well, we might wait years before that happens . . .