US President’s Facebook Messenger bot is now open sourced

US President Barack Obama's Facebook Messenger bot

US President Barack Obama's Facebook Messenger bot

US President Barack Obama was already emerged as one of the first leaders in history to respond directly to citizens. But now, to help worldwide governments leverage Facebook Messenger to communicate with the masses, the White House has open sourced the code of the bot used by President Obama.

The White House considers that the new development comes “with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services — and foster connections with their citizens — with significantly less upfront investment.”

55-year-old Obama has a daily routine to read ten letters sent by citizens since he took his seat as the 44th US President in 2009. In August, he expanded his mission to “meet the public where they are” and started responding to Facebook messages. This brought the development of the Facebook Messenger bot.

Drupal module to enable mass interactions

The open source bot is available in the form of a Drupal module and developers can utilise its code directly from GitHub. Its Drupal base enables even non-developers to build bot interactions.

“While Drupal may not be the platform others would immediately consider for building a bot, this new White House module will allow non-developers to create bot interactions (with customised language and workflows), and empower other governments and agencies who already use Drupal to power their digital experiences,” chief digital officer of the White House Jason Goldman wrote in a blog post.

Bot era

Bots are no longer used just to preview artificial intelligence (AI) developments. Recently, Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton opted a voter registration bot to help citizens register to vote. Microsoft is also testing a bot to enable Singapore authorities to help people in the country.

Tech giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and even messaging app Telegram are enhancing their platforms to encourage bot developments. Moreover, bots are now considered to be the next frontier in the world of mobile devices.


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