I’m probably going to be dating myself here. But raise your hand if you used to stalk your buddies’ away messages on AOL’s Instant Messenger. An away message seemed so basic at first as it would say: “I am away from my computer right now.” Before you could blink, though, away messages would contain a variety of information like a class schedule for the day or depressing song lyrics. Its job was still the same. It allowed you to respond to people when you were not around. These days, artificial intelligence has helped create chat robots also known as “Chatbots.”

Chatbots are becoming more and more prevalent in a world that is steamrolling automation down our throats. When Adam Davies was waiting for his office and administrative assistant he would screen calls as if he was his own secretary. Fast forward to today and a chatbot could screen said calls for him.

Chatbots are becoming so advanced that one chatbot will soon be able to communicate with another chatbot. This is real life, people. Yet this technology is not free and is not cheap. It will soon begin to gain ground in all customer service industries. Have you asked yourself how long it will take to get a person on the phone when calling your cell or cable provider? Imagine NOT having an option to talk to someone. Ever. Don’t worry about those days, though, as they are likely 50 or even 100 years away. It will get harder and harder to get a customer service representative on the line though.

Companies offering chatbot assistance are all over the internet. One is called “LivePerson” and has this listed on its homepage: “The major brands LivePerson works with are aggressively pursuing chatbots to reduce care costs and create new digital experiences for sales and strong relationships. LivePerson has a complete solution to create, launch, manage, and optimize these bots. We can build and deploy your chatbot in less than 45 days.”

Not to surprise anyone out there but another company that has flexed their muscles with chatbot sales is Amazon. Meet “Amazon Lex.” If the name sounds familiar to another one of its products just read this passage from the Amazon Lex homepage: “Speech recognition and natural language understanding are some of the most challenging problems to solve in computer science, requiring sophisticated deep learning algorithms to be trained on massive amounts of data and infrastructure. Amazon Lex democratizes these deep learning technologies by putting the power of Amazon Alexa within reach of all developers. Harnessing these technologies, Amazon Lex enables you to define entirely new categories of products made possible through conversational interfaces.”

Talk about stiff competition. Companies like LivePerson that have a strong mission statement and the abilities needed to make an effective chatbot algorithm may show potential. However, they will definitely have their hands full competing against Amazon. Look at how hard that has been for a company like Google.

Amazon is not the only big money player throwing its hat in the chatbot ring. Facebook is also very much in the chatbot field in a variety of ways. The most popular is through Facebook Messenger which recently hit 1.2 billion users. There are a ton of chatbot apps that can be installed that are compatible with Facebook Messenger.

Chatbotsmagazine.com recently ran an article that listed five of the most popular chatbot apps many are using through Facebook Messenger. The site listed Niki.ai, HealthTap, Poncho, CNN, and Memegenerator Bot.