Burner's Ghostbot lets you escape conversations and let a bot handle the rest

Ghostbot, a new tool from Burner, allows users to create an automated bot for the purpose of escaping an unwanted texting exchange.

We’ve all had at least one unwanted texting exchange; be it a less than stellar match on Tinder or a Gumtree sale, some exchanges can be soul-draining. Thankfully, a new feature from Burner – the app which lets you create temporary phone numbers in the US – is Ghostbot; an automated bot you can sic on unwanted messages to bring an end to the conversation quickly.
Burner enables users to quickly create temporary phone numbers for various purposes; for example, say you wish to sell an item online and don’t want to be harassed afterwards for leaving your personal number on the internet – Burner automatically generates a cellular number which you can use temporarily for exactly that purpose.
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Now, Burner users can attach Ghostbot to a Burner number when a conversation has outlived its purpose; Ghostbot will automatically generate canned, non-committal responses that will help to waive off the messaging party.
Burner’s CEO Greg Cohn stated that “œThe 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… The general idea is this will kind of handle a situation that‘s casual and light and a cooling off period, but of course it‘s possible to trip the bot up. The general idea is at some point, by the time people clue in it might be a bot, things have cooled off and the person has moved on.“
Ghostbot makes use of natural language processing and several creative responses to respond to text messages. Cohn stated ‘opening up phone numbers’ created new possibilities for how human beings will interact in future, citing the idea that “œYou can imagine a future (in which) a phone number knows you‘re driving a car or someone (is) sending you something inappropriate.“
While Burner – and my extension, Ghostbot – aren’t available in South Africa, similar services, such as Hushed (iOS | Android), are.
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What are your thoughts on Ghostbot? Where could you see a bot facilitating conversation in your everyday life? Be sure to let us now your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA