All of us have who are internet savvy have knowingly or unknowingly interacted with computer programs who chat or talk with us. They are designed to have a dialog with humans and are used many times for malicious use also especially in chat rooms. They use text from your chat to understand the questions and answer in a human manner. These programs are known as chatbots or talk bots or just bots.

Type of Chatbots:

Some of the chatbots use a certain set of rules, where others use Artificial Intelligence. They can also be termed as smart as over-smart as the first one has a smart design and the second one learns through conversations and develop more human-like skills. You will see some good examples of chatbots in supporting the Operating system or software features.

New Chatbot from Yahoo:

The new chatbot from Yahoo named as ‘Captain’ is termed by most freelance websites as a bot for delegating family responsibilities. It is also termed as a messenger to send messages and reminders to parents and children. When you send a message to a short code, it will act on it and pass on the message to the receiver as reminder or alert at the right time. It is taking the text communication between family members to a technology platform through automation.

The interesting part of this app for tech enthusiasts is that you don’t have to download the chatbot or install it, but it works through text messaging. The ‘Captain’ is likely to be a family friend in all family members connected to each other through mobiles for all day.

Manage Shopping List:

When you set-up a reminder, an automatic alert is set-up and the family member who is supposed to receive it will get the same on the specific day and time. There are pre-formatted bots available on Facebook and other media which sends specific messages like birthday wishes on your birthday, and this bot is taking it to the next level, where the functionality is not limited to birthday and anniversary wishes and can be much more than that. You can share the shopping list between the family members, and as someone buys particular items from the list, they can update the list. T can also check for duplicate items.


For families who are always ‘online’ and distributed for Office, School and other reasons will find this chatbot very useful. For example, you can remind your spouse about picking up the children from school or drop them for a music class, etc.

Compatibility and Usage:

As we saw, there is no App download, and in the US, you can simply start using the facility, saying ‘Hi’ to ‘773-786’.  You are then connected to the Bot system and can start interacting with any mobile device. Compatibility is not an issue making it very simple to use. It is a collaborative tool for family interactions, which is something new in this space! One family member has to initiate this interaction and includes others in the chat. So, you have a personal assistant (a software robot) as an intermediator to pass on right messages to everyone and making an easy coordination between the members.

More Features:

Developing tips for children or other family members, reminding the elderly members about their medicines and many such instances are there, where you can use this chatbot. Using the bot is made very easy, and you have someone who can always remind you of the right tasks at the right time. Keep texting Captain, and it takes care of the rest.

You can add and eliminate different items to the shopping list, and everyone has easy access to the updated list. There is a list of triggers you can send to ‘Captain’ chatbot to set up your specific tips or modify different lists.

After initiating the conversation, the bot responds with a set of instructions Captain will respond immediately with setup instructions. The chatbot is free to use, but you need to be aware of your data plans and internet usage to use it. Being a chatbot, it is very obedient and will always text you back and won’t ignore or forget like humans.

The aim is also removing the burden on parents to remind their children of every small thing they are likely to forget and focus on their job. The bot is similar to Amazon’s Alexa or Google voice facility in some ways, but it has a specific objective and niche market. The interesting thing is the chatbot has removed the total hassle of using a Mobile App for such tasks.

Chatbot Usage:

You can find the Chatbots as a part of the dialog systems. Automated assistants leading you to the right person can be a chatbot. They are already used widely in Facebook Messanger, Kik, and Snapchat. Companies are using it for customer service also. A good example is Microsoft Cortana chatbot available with Windows 10.

It can not only answer a few questions but can do some small tasks also for you like searching particular documents or words. More smartness will soon get added to the bots to work as a personal secretary for you. The new features are already part of the new smartphone devices about to get released on the market from Google and Apple. The other usage is in electronic toys and games. The freelance work related to this area is on rising and adding artificial intelligence to your Apps is one of the future directions for new development.


Captain from Yahoo is an arbitrator between parents and children or between any family members. It is going to make life easy for everyone to send and receive text instructions, which you can access whenever you have time. With no compatibility issues and no App, the usage is kept very simple. The chatbot has vast potential to be a family assistant and becoming popular soon. You may see Yahoo launching it in other countries also over the time. Currently, if you are in the United States, just say ‘Hi’ to 773-786 and get started!