Looking for somewhere to have a bite to eat and maybe get a drink or two? Marsbot already knows that, and will suggest a place before you even feel the need to ask.
Marsbot is, you guessed it, a bot — this one developed by the folks at Foursquare. The bot doesn’t live in the Foursquare app, however, but instead has its own standalone app, offering recommendations on places to eat and drink nearby. It’s currently available in New York City and San Francisco.
Despite being a bot, Foursquare says that Marsbot isn’t like other bots — Marsbot isn’t there to chat with, it’s there to predict what you want and when.
“We chose to experiment with offering proactive and personalized recommendations. It’s a completely different mode of interaction,” said Foursquare Product Manager Marissa Chacko in a blog post. “With a chatbot, you ask specific questions and give specific prompts for what you need. Our goal with Marsbot is to give you the answers before you even ask — just based on where you are and where you usually go.”
When you first download the app, you’ll need to establish certain preferences about your eating habits. The bot currently only gives suggestions on places to eat or drink, however, it’s certainly possible that over time the intelligence behind it will expand into other things, too. For now, however, you won’t be using Marsbot to find the best computer store or to order flowers.
Foursquare noted that Marsbot is still in development, and that things will change over the next few months. Still, while the company is developing Marsbot, it will also be opening the app up to other markets and letting in wait-listed people to test out the app.
“It’ll take time for Marsbot to learn about you and for us to refine how it all works,” said Chacko. “So please be patient. No one said inventing the future would be easy.”
Currently, the app is only available on iOS.