For those who need to know what the sky will do to them within the next 5 minutes (like farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, anyone with washing on the line, and people with new shoes) then all your weather dreams have come true. A new “cognitive” weather bot for Facebook Messenger has been launched.
More or less to cut out the jargon and speak in normal terms, you can now message the Weather Channel (weather.com) and a robot will message you back, answering all your local weather questions. Over time, the more you speak to the bot, the more it will get to know you and answer your questions more effectively. Should you bring an umbrella to your 2pm to 5pm meeting? Yes. Should you wear your new white trainers to the park at 4pm? HELL NO. Should you bring your sunglasses to a match at Croke Park? Wishful thinking.
Over time the bot will deliver weather-related content specific to your individual interests (if you want it to). Using the natural language and machine learning capabilities, as the user continuously engages with the bot – the bot will make recommendations, predict the weather, and have conversations to provide a more personalised experience.
Said Cameron Clayton, general manager, The Weather Company, “At The Weather Company, we want to create the best user experiences, and that means providing weather information and content in any format people want to receive it. One billion people use Messenger every month, and most want to know how the weather will impact their day. The Weather Channel bot for Messenger will create a highly personalised experience for each one of those individuals.”
Bot features include:
- Current conditions and hourly forecasts
- Daily forecast and 5-day outlook
- Extended forecast information: accessible via a link to the weather.com mobile website
- Severe weather alerts: option to view a summary or full description of active alerts in the area (available in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe)
- Customisable notifications: select when to receive daily forecast information and news
- Breaking weather news: access the latest local weather news.
The bot is available in 39 languages, Facebook and Messenger users can easily access the bot through The Weather Channel Facebook fan page, as well as the Messenger app.
Makers of the bot are the Weather Company, an IBM Business. The company delivers up to 26 billion forecasts daily. It is the seventh most data-rich site in the world. So yes, it isn’t just the Irish who are obsessed with the weather. We are all weather nerds. All of us.