Monday, September 20, 2004

AIM Robots to help put IMers.
Need to know the phone number ot the local Pizza Hut? Want to know what the news is in the Wall Street Journal? AIM is launching AIM robots you can install in your buddy list and simply ask questions to and it will provide answers.
AIM Robots have existed since 2002, but AOL is now wrapping a formal program around this feature, said Brian Curry, senior director of AOL's AIM Network Services. "We never had a well-defined program. Now we have a program with partners who help people build these bots," he said.
The decision to give AIM Robots a boost is a result of the increasing popularity of IM in general and of the existing AIM Robots, particularly the "Who wants to be a millionaire?" one, which has been added to the buddy lists of about 75,000 AIM users, Curry said. "It's a great window for marketers to interact with potential customers and disseminate information," he said.
It's up to each user to add the robots he's interested in, and he can remove them whenever he wants, Curry said. Robot operators agree not to distribute users' screen names and pledge to only use the robots for their stated purpose, so that AIM users don't face the type of spam nuisance affecting e-mail, Curry said.