Have you ever wished a text message conversation would simply go away but you didn’t want to deal with it? Well, meet Burner, the new bot that helps you do it, and do it gracefully.
Burner is an app that helps you create temporary phone numbers for different purposes. Today, a new tool called Ghostbot has been rolled out that will automatically respond to any of your contacts – say, that Craigslist encounter you want to forget – in such a way as to wave off the person on the other side.
Users can create multiple Burner numbers, and keep them connected to a single Ghostbot, which will be used for a list of contacts that the user is texting with that Burner number. After you set it up, it’s click-and-go.
Whenever you enable the Ghostbot on a contact, it will reply with a non-committal response based on the context of the text message; hopefully, the other person will get the hint and go away. If they don’t go away, they’ll probably realize they’re talking to a bot.
CEO Greg Cohn said that “The idea is to avoid a situation where you don’t want to have a confrontational conversation, but don’t want to go dark on them.” In this day and age, simply saying you’re not interested can be met with various reactions, so why not let the bot handle it?
The bot’s responses – various but scripted – are not meant to fool the world into thinking it’s a person. To create it, Burner partnered with a third-party developer, which combines natural language processing with some creative responses.
What Ghostbot does is respond to text messages at random intervals, offering a pretty generic “I’m busy” sort of answers. Since Burner has primarily been used for dating purposes, it made sense to try to build a bot that would help with that.
But Burner has many more applications outside this sphere; integrations for Slack, Dropbox, and other services have already been added, allowing users to create auto-responders or save photos.
Burner offers a unique opportunity in testing and experimenting with new features without having to depend on a carrier’s decision to introduce them.
“You can imagine a future that a phone number knows you’re driving a car or someone sending you something inappropriate,” explained Cohn.
Image Source: PC Magazine