Nov 6th 2011, 13:07 BOTS SmartBots
by Glaznah Gassner
BOTS Shareholders' meeting, November 06th 2011We had a first BOTS shareholders meeting today. I'm very pleased to say that we had a very practical and well-organized meeting! Thank you for coming, it was a pleasure to reply all your questions!
= MEETING RECORD, SHORTENED FOR READABILITY =
Dear friends: BOTS shareholders and guests!
It's very nice to see you there. I'm very proud to present SmartBots at SLCAPEX.
One of SLCAPEX users recently said that SmartBots is unique, and have no comparable competitors… I can confirm that: we have a lot of unique features, and adding more every month.
Let me introduce the schedule of our meeting, I'll try to keep it short:
(1) Few words about SmartBots;
(2) Presentation of our new device and service;
(3) Our future plans and updates;
(4) Your questions.
== SMARTBOTS HISTORY ==
Let's start with some historical information. SmartBots has been launched in January 2010 - almost two years ago. At the very beginning, it was a simple direct group inviter service. The reason was that the tool to manage my own group was needed (Earn2Life group with 8K members).
The existing direct inviters (including JVA bot I was using at the very beginning) were unreliable (JVA was spamming people from nearby parcel, and another service was annoying, inviting same people over and over). Thus, I've decided to have my own group management service.
Unlike competitors, I've decided to set the lower prices (L$79 per week + bonuses), and compete by attracting the larger number of customers. This model has succeeded: we were gathering more and more customers, offering the lowest rates. At the same time we were adding new services, devices and plugins.
We had about 500 active customers after the first year, and more than 1000 at the moment. Currently we have 3 services available: group inviter, group chat management and group notices services. We allow customers to use our bots ("shared bot") or their own "personal" bot to manage the groups.
== THE PRESENTATION OF A NEW SERVICE ==
The possibilities provided by Second Life bots are truly amazing. Invitations, scheduled notices and automatic IM autoreply greeter - that's what you can do with SmartBots. Actually, not SmartBots but SL accounts powered by SmartBots!
The can be demonstrated by our new device, just created and powered by SmartBots: the group chat automatic translator. You may know the local chat "Universal translator" - it automatically translates the local chat.
SmartBots Group Translator does the similar work within a group chat: it listens to the chat, translates the messages and says the translation to required language.The most interesting fact is that SmartBots Translator is based on open SmartBots API: every developer can write the similar or better tools using our functions.
We have tested in in two multi-language groups: Earn2Life (20K+ members) and Dragons&Princesses (about 300 members but very active chat). I have to say that it's very useful for group members, since noone argue anymore that they can't understand the other people's language.
Carter Allegrant: How accurate are the translations?
Glaznah Gassner: We use two translation engines: Google and Microsoft, and trying to use their best sides. Of course, they may fail to determine the language sometimes, especially unusual languages like Latin.
== PLANS AND FUTURE UPDATES ==
(1) The very first feature to be published next week is a Talk-Through-Bot ability (demanded a lot). For example, iIf you have a personal bot in your office, and someone talks with the bot, you get a notification. You can reply to the visitor by typing a message, and bot will say that.
Thus, you can put a secretary bot in your office and reply to the customers even if you are far away (or even logged off: the live chat is web-based). We already have a special HUD to manage personal bots: this HUD will also display when you get a new message from a visitor.
(2) Another heavy-demanded innovation is SBSL: Simple Bot Scripting Language. This language allows owner to program his bot to react on specific actions: messages, inventory etc. Roleplaying sim owners asked for such simple language to make NPCs (non-player characters) who give inventory to the players, and chat with them.
Such scripted bots can be widely used in any environment: we are going to use them in Dragons&Princesses game, one of them is already flying over the castle in game's parcel.
The bot's reaction programmed by SBSL may vary: the auto-reply, the inventory delivery in return; or something more complex.
The draft version of SBSL is already published. The fully-working version is planned to be released in November.
(3) Along with SBSL, we plan to publish all specifications of SmartBots' HTTP API. This API allows to do almost everything with your group and bot: send group messages, move and teleport your personal bot etc.
We use this API in our devices, and now preparing the documentation and securing the calls, so every developer can use them.
(4) Actually, working with developers is our priority. We've already provided developers with AdminBot - the LSL library which allows managing the group from LSL script (including listening to a group chat).
To support our developers, we announce the contest for developers. It is timed to SmartBots 2nd Anniversary in January 2012. The prize fund is planned at L$80,000 in three categories: the most innovative device, the most well-made and most useful device. The goal of this contest is to create more powerful devices, and attract more customers and users of SmartBots.
(5) As a continuation of this work, and to encourage the developers' activity, we plan to open a Bot Market. Scripters will be able to sell their bot- and group-related devices there, and users will get access to a lot of amazing new abilities.
We already have about 10 devices developed by us, and 10-20 developed by other people. Selling them at one place leads to benefit for both developer, customer and SmartBots.
That's what I've planned for today. There's much more to say: I can tell the SmartBots history for a long time, or describe the new features we plan to introduce for hours!
Steve Ellsmere: Thanks Glaz, looks like you got another winner, I'm glad I jumped on this one early :)
Glaznah Gassner: Nice to hear :] It is already winning company, and we will make it even better!
== SOME QUESTIONS ASKED DURING THE MEETING ==
Steve Ellsmere: With creating so many bots for your customers do you forsee any issues with Linden Labs? Do they have any limitations on the number of bots you can create?
Glaznah Gassner: No. We force all bots to have a "Scripted agent" option turned on. This resolves all possible issues. We had some contacts with LL about year ago, and I've explained why do we own about 100 alts.
Syn Enyo: Can we creare our own AI with the HTTP API? Like kinda likea Siri? Remind me in a half hour to call bob. Like have a php script get that and send a reply? Then later have that php script send a im?
Glaznah Gassner: Yes, you can create your own AI using our APIs. And SBSL allows to reply to a local chat messages. SBSL can forward all messages to your php script. You process it and give the answer back.