The Bot Effect

Always available, emotionally connecting, scalable computer-generated humans are getting more mainstream

“My bot understands me.” Artificial intelligence and end-to-end automation are creating a future full of digital, algorithmic agents. They are always available – on the phone, in the car, on the table, within smart glasses – to serve one’s needs courteously and efficiently. These specialized bots are aware of personal preferences and behaviors and communicate in a way that fits the specific purpose, learning and improving over time. For this, personal data needs to be aggregated, analyzed, and cautiously managed. Here’s the move from customization and personalization towards a truly individual, always-on “You” experience: the bot effect benefits business, big time.


  • Digital bots have already been working on a person’s behalf, starting with “Sync Me,” a way of sharing copies of digital assets and keeping them in sync across all media.
  • They can also “See Me:” they know where a person is and has been, both on the internet and in the real world and also “Know Me.”
  • Soon, bots will get authorized to “Be Me,” acting on a person’s behalf based on observed behavior or explicit personal rules and policies.
  • Newly created bots are entering the influencer marketing space, including fake (digital) individuals, looking real on social media.
  • AI and cognitive technologies drive this evolution together with high-productivity bot development tools


  • Trim and Digit are financial services bots that act on your behalf. They look into your expenses and suggest actions; following your approval, they take care of the transaction.
  • FaceMe is an AI-enabled digital human creator, focused on creating emotional engagement. The Chief Investment Officer of UBS for instance, has been cloned. His virtual twin now advises clients. Shudu Gram and Lil Miquela are computer-generated influencers, used in marketing through Instagram accounts with daily stories and product placement.
  • A Capgemini Loyalty Chatbot uses natural language processing to address retail-related issues. In FB Messenger, it draws from the user profile to auto-fill forms for loyalty scheme sign-ups. It also handles first-level customer service.


  • A well-designed bot can express a brand’s desired identity towards customers.
  • Digital influencer bots can be controlled better than human influencers and be more directed towards a designed goal.
  • Bots present an entirely new, alternative channel to reach out to customers and be available to them for knowledge and transactions 24/7, without human intervention.
  • A bot that is trusted by consumers can collect crucial personal and behavioral information, leading to better product development, marketing, cross-selling, and customer service