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What Are Software Bots | Automation Anywhere

What Are Software Bots | Automation Anywhere
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A software bot, short for “robot”, is nothing more than a piece (or pieces) of code. And yet, how that code is put together makes all the difference in the bot’s functionality.
Chances are, you’re already familiar with at least a couple of types of bots. You come into contact with several of these software applications every time you get online. Chatbots, the little messaging applications that pop up in the corner of your screen, are one frequently used example.
Virtual assistants like Siri are software bots that use artificial intelligence and complex code to have human-like interactions. Social networks use bots to assist in communication.
Creating software bots for business applications used to be a task for software development teams, but technology brings change. Now, thanks to software technology like RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, it’s much easier to create bots that perform automated tasks.
RPA provides a no-code, or codeless, user interface which allows almost anyone to “build a bot” to perform simple tasks. In turn, this allows businesses to streamline repetitive processes faster, with less room for error.
What can software bots do for me?
Already, software bots are a major part of your life. They work behind the scenes most of the time, going about their business of making life easier. They’re document collators and virtual assistants, data collectors and website scanners.
No matter what they’re designed to do, however, the benefits remain. Specific advantages include:
Increased Productivity
Software bots allow individuals to be more effective in almost any area of business. Since they’re able to automate the various steps required to perform the mundane tasks like invoice processing, for example, human workers are free to do more complex tasks. This increases the productivity of a single worker exponentially.
Better Accuracy
While software bots are only as good as their programming, they’re very good at what they do once programmed. In fact, their accuracy is one of the many reasons you’ll find them in the business processes of well known social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and business communication platforms like Slack.
Decreased Costs
Increased productivity and better accuracy have a direct correlation to decreased costs. Employees are able to get more done, reducing the cost of overtime. Business processes are more accurate, which reduces costly errors in payroll and client accounts, among others.
Ease of Use
Although basic training in automation is suggested in order to understand how to build them, RPA software applications provide an intuitive user interface. For many business processes, it’s simply a matter of recording the end user’s keystrokes so the software bot can mimic the actions. It’s then is able to efficiently fulfill the task on demand.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
Bots eliminate hours of mind-numbing, repetitive, stress-inducing activities. Since humans can automate the simpler, more mundane functions of their jobs, they’re free to work on more meaningful jobs requiring decision-making, creativity and judgment. This vital difference increases worker satisfaction.
Better Flexibility
Software bots are created in such a way that they can work across multiple platforms and systems. -So you don’t have to have all the information you’re trying to collect on a single computer, or a single system, for example. This allows companies large and small the ability to operate with a business as usual attitude, while still implementing, managing and upgrading bots for stronger performance.
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Who is using software bots?
At the onset of bot technology, they were used to automate basic office tasks. While they’re still used for that purpose, the software bots of yester-year are almost unrecognizable compared to their origins, and are widely used across industries and for many other purposes. Here are some key ways that the automation innovation is being leveraged:
Data Mining
Google is one of the first companies to take the use of software bots to the limit and expand on it. The search engine uses bots as data miners to index and catalogue the billions of websites that have been created.
Web crawlers scan web pages using a mix of machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation. They look for keywords to discern the information on the page based on language processing and contextual clues. That information is then compared to proprietary algorithms to give you the results you get today when you search for a term.
While a business certainly doesn’t need that level of complexity, that data mining functionality can be brought to business applications. For example, bots can be created to scan for specific keywords and pull document packets together, or deliver specific information based on a designated keystroke.
Customer Service
Ranging from the simple to the complex, chatbots are changing the face of the customer service sector. At one end of the spectrum, they’re able to provide simple answers to simple questions as a pre-qualifying tool. At the other end, these AI-powered software bots can competently talk with multiple customers at the same time.
With the potential customer as the end-user, bots can provide answers, in real-time, to any questions the user may have about a product or service. With the customer service representative as the end user, the bots can provide robust information about the customers for a stronger customer experience.
A retail store may have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of products. Software bots can be created to organize and catalogue products, keep track of inventory and build datasheets. They can be built to make pricing updates and manage orders.
They can also be used to scan for a break in patterns, such as those employed by credit card companies to flag potential account fraud. If you’ve ever been called by your credit card company to ask about a recent purchase, chances are that a software bot flagged your account for review. Something you purchased was out of the normal pattern for your buyer behavior.
The healthcare industry is aggressively using software bots, and in several ways. Not only can they track patient care and provide digital prescriptions, but also help with patient engagement and alert medical teams of patient emergencies. They can be used to streamline administrative tasks, such as creating new patient charts or updating old ones.
Many law firms are well versed in using software bots to reduce the man hours spent on mundane tasks. Acting as virtual paralegals, they can be built to generate any number of legal documents with the click of a button. Contracts, NDAs, and privacy policies are just a few examples. Rather than replace their human counterpart, the software bots free them up to do work that involves higher thinking, such as conduction legal and factual research.
Supply Chain
Supply chain and logistics uses software bots and automation to keep track of load data and data analysis. Bots help reduce shipping cost via automated data entry. They can produce barcodes and keep track of warehouse inventory. All of this can be done in the fraction of the time that a human worker would be able to do, with a much smaller margin of error.
Frequently asked questions about software bots
“Bot” is short for “robot”. It can mean a physical robot, such as the Roomba vacuum, or it can be a software bot, such as a virtual assistant.
Bots are used to automate tasks. What tasks they automate depends on the coding. However, the applications of software bots are almost endless, from business applications to gaming and communications.
No, although the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Most bots are created to do a specific task. Their actions are dependent on the code used rather than machine learning. Some software bots use artificial intelligence, such as Google Assistant, but it’s not a prerequisite.
While use cases do include tasks traditionally done by humans, it’s not likely that software bots will replace human users. Rather, they’re more likely to be a helpful counterpart as part of the Digital Workforce. The aim is to free human workers from mundane, repetitive tasks, allowing us to focus on other tasks that require our ingenuity and creativity.
Depending on their purpose, software bots are coded to use various technologies and software applications such as natural language processing and APIs. In business processes, they can automate anything from simple one or two-step processes (add an entered name to a specific set of documents) to complex workflows including twenty or more steps.
How do I get started with software bots?
Software bots can be created using Robotic Process Automation software. Choosing the right RPA software is critical to the success of your automation projects.
A quality RPA development platform will provide a no-code way to create the bot, a way to run bots on your organization’s system, and a way to manage the scheduling and control of the bots. With these three key pieces, it’s as easy as pushing record, stop and play on your phone.
Once created, software bots can be shared and managed across the organization, allowing for a more streamlined operation. Rather than mind numbing tasks, employees have a pleasant one-off user experience to automate the task, and are then able to move on to other tasks that take more thought.
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Ticket bots become illegal in the United States | DataDome

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Ticket bots become illegal in the United States | DataDome

On December 14, 2016, President Obama signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016” which makes it illegal to use automated software, so-called ticket bots, to purchase tickets to popular events.
Ticket bots are widely used to purchase large quantities of tickets to popular shows, concerts, and other events the moment they go on sale, then reselling them at a steep markup.
The BOTS Act defines the use of ticket purchasing software as an “unfair and deceptive practice. ”
“These bots have gotten completely out of control and their dominance in the market is denying countless fans access to shows and concerts and driving prices through the roof, ” said Senator Charles Schumer, who has championed the bill, in a press release.
“This legislation will finally crack down on online hackers and scalpers that use ‘bots’ to purchase thousands of tickets in a matter of milli-seconds, and then sell them at outrageously-inflated prices. ”
What are Bots and How Do they Work? - WhatIs.com

What are Bots and How Do they Work? – WhatIs.com

A bot — short for “robot” and also called an internet bot — is a computer program that operates as an agent for a user or other program, or to simulate a human activity. Bots are normally used to automate certain tasks, meaning they can run without specific instructions from humans.
An organization or individual can use a bot to replace a repetitive task that a human would otherwise have to perform. Bots are also much faster at these tasks than humans.
How do bots work?
Normally, bots will operate over a network. Bots that can communicate with one another will use internet-based services to do so — such as instant messaging, interfaces like Twitterbots or through Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In general, more than half of internet traffic is bots that interact with web pages, talk with users, scan for content and perform other tasks.
Bots are made from sets of algorithms which aid them in their designated tasks. Tasks bots can normally handle include conversing with a human — which attempts to mimic human behaviors — or gathering content from other websites. There are plenty of different types of bots designed differently to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
As an example, a chatbot will operate on one of multiple methods of operation. A rule-based chatbot will interact with people by giving pre-defined prompts for the individual to select. An intellectually independent chatbot will make use of machine learning to learn from human inputs as well as watching out for known keywords. AI chatbots are a combination of rule-based and intellectually independent chatbots. Chatbots may also use pattern matching, natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) tools.
Organizations or individuals that make use of bots can also use bot management software, which includes software tools that aid in managing bots and protecting against malicious bots. Bot managers can be included as part of a web app security platform. A bot manager can be used to allow the use of some bots and block the use of others that might cause harm to a system. To do this, a bot manager will classify any incoming requests by humans and good bots and known malicious and unknown bots. Any suspect bot traffic is then directed away from a site by the bot manager. Some basic bot management feature sets include IP rate limiting and CAPTCHAs. IP rate limiting will limit the number of same-address-requests, while CAPTCHAs are used as a sort of puzzle to differentiate bots from humans.
Types of bots
There are numerous types of bots, all with unique goals and tasks. Some common bots include:
A chatbot — which is a program that can simulate talk with a human being. One of the first and most famous chatbots (prior to the web) was Eliza, a program that pretended to be a psychotherapist and answered questions with other questions.
Social bots — which are bots that operate on social media platforms.
A shopbot — which is a program that shops around the web on your behalf and locates the best price for a product you’re looking for. There are also bots such as OpenSesame that observe a user’s patterns in navigating a web site and customize the site for that user.
A knowbot — which is a program that collects knowledge for a user by automatically visiting Internet sites to retrieve information that meets certain specified criteria.
Spiders or crawlers (also known as a web crawler) — which are used to access web sites and gather their content for the indexes in search engines.
Web scraping crawlers — which are similar to crawlers but are used for data harvesting and extracting relevant content.
Monitoring bots — which can be used to monitor the health of a website or system.
Transactional bots — which can be used to complete transactions on behalf of a human.
Bots may also be classified as good bots and bad bots, or in other words, bots that will not harm the system and bots that pose threats and can harm the system.
Examples and uses of bots
Bots can be used in customer service fields as well as in areas like business, scheduling, search functionality and entertainment. Using a bot in each area brings different benefits. For example, in customer service, bots are available 24/7 and increase the availability of customer service employees, allowing them to focus on more complicated issues.
Red and Andrette were names of two early programs that could be customized to answer questions from users seeking service for a product. Such a program is sometimes called a virtual representative or a virtual agent.
Other services that use bots include:
Instant messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Slack;
News apps such as the Wall Street Journal, to show news headlines;
Spotify, which allows users to search for and share tracks via Facebook Messenger;
Lyft, in which a user can request a ride from instant messenger apps; and
Meeting scheduling services, such as
Malicious bots
Malicious bots are bots used to automate actions considered to be cybercrimes. Common types of malicious bots include:
DoS or DDoS bots, which use an overwhelming number of bots to overload a server’s resources and halting the service from operating.
Spambots, which post promotional content to drive traffic to a specific website.
Hackers, which are bots made to distribute malware and attack websites.
Other malicious bots include web crawlers, credential stuffing, email address harvesting and brute force password cracking. Organizations can stop malicious bots by using a bot manager.
Advantages and disadvantages
There are plenty of advantages that come with using bots as well as disadvantages, such as risks that other bots could propose. Some potential advantages of bots include:
Faster than humans at repetitive tasks;
Time saved for customers and clients;
Available 24/7;
Organizations can reach large numbers of people via messenger apps;
Bots are customizable; and
Improved user experience.
Some disadvantages include:
Bots cannot be set to perform some exact tasks and they risk misunderstanding users.
Humans are still necessary to manage the bots as well as to step in if one misinterprets another human.
Bots can be made malicious by users.
Bots can be used for spam.
This was last updated in January 2020
Continue Reading About bot (robot)
Applications of autonomous robots lead in the enterprise
Robot workforce evolves from mimicking tasks to taking on jobs
Cloudflare battles malicious bots with ‘fight mode’
The definitive site about bots is BotSpot.
NativeMinds offers software that provides your company with a virtual representative.

Frequently Asked Questions about bots software

Are software bots illegal?

On December 14, 2016, President Obama signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016” which makes it illegal to use automated software, so-called ticket bots, to purchase tickets to popular events. … The BOTS Act defines the use of ticket purchasing software as an “unfair and deceptive practice.”Dec 14, 2016

What is the purpose of bots?

Bots are normally used to automate certain tasks, meaning they can run without specific instructions from humans. An organization or individual can use a bot to replace a repetitive task that a human would otherwise have to perform. Bots are also much faster at these tasks than humans.

Are chat bots illegal?

Are chatbots legal? Before we get too far in this article, let’s clear the air right now: Yes, chatbots are legal. However, many states are beginning to regulate chatbot functions and how businesses portray their chatbots to website visitors, users, and customers.Jan 7, 2019

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