Botness: Conference for Bot Development

By September 20, 2016 December 3rd, 2017 Lifestyle

Botness is a conference for chatbot ecosystem. Generally, a chatbot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and it could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.).

Botness is a gathering of approx. 50 chatbot developers, AI startup founders, and chat apps held on June 13 & 14 at PCH/Highway1 in San Francisco. In this gathering, the startups, investors, and leaders from the biggest chat platforms on the planet gather for a photo.

The reason behind this gathering is to conduct a comprehensive survey of current bot startups in order to identify companies that should be part of Botness and to select the most important issues to work accordingly at the next Botness gathering. The plan is that everyone who takes the survey receives the same detailed report on its results. The aim is to give everyone who is investing in messaging and bots access to the same information.

According to a medium post penned by the group of Chris Messina of Uber, Jon Bruner of O’Reilly Media, and Automat CEO Andy Mauro said, “The aim is to give everyone investing in messaging and bots access to the same information. Once published, we will extract the list of pressing problems and issues to be discussed at the next Botness event and solicit for participants for working groups”.

Botness has held two events. The first Botness event held in April at Slack headquarters. About 20 people were invited to that event. And Jeff Lawson CEO of Twilio, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, Veronica Belmont of Growbot, early bot investor Phil Libin of General Catalyst, and Lili Cheng of Microsoft Research are some of them.

And the last Botness event which was held on June 13-14 in San Francisco, leaders from Facebook Messenger and owners of the largest chat apps on the planet Kik, Slack, Twilio, Microsoft, and Google attended that event.

For Botcamp’s inaugural class, 10 chatbot startups are to be selected from a field of nearly 350 applications (submitted via chatbot, of course) from entrepreneurs and startups from the U.S., China, South America, Africa, and elsewhere. Botcamp chooses applications submitted by early-stage concepts and projects that are further along.

Mauro led two workshops at the Botness gathering that brought startups and major chat platforms together to discuss what developers need to create awesome bots. Botness and the workshops encouraged their specific collaboration to make a vibrant bot ecosystem. The survey is the first step in that direction.

About the workshops, Mauro said, “Everyone quickly realized that transparency and collaboration were essential to turning the promise of messaging and bots into a viable market where both platform companies and startups can thrive on building experiences consumers love”.

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