I feel obligated to talk a bit about Pokemon Go and artificial intelligence. But really, there’s not much out there to speak of, or at least I couldn’t find anything.

That is, except a pretty awesome Facebook messenger bot called PokemonGoBot, made by bot platform company Morph.ai lisinopril 40 mg. If you haven’t been hit by #PokeMania bear with me for a minute, but this is for better or worse (mostly worse) one of the more interesting of this recent batch of bots that I’ve come across. Basically this bot is your Pokemon wingman when you’re preparing to go to battle at a Pokemon Go gym. You add the bot on Messenger and then you can ask it questions like “What type of Pokemon is a Pinsir?” or “Which pokemon should I use against Eevee?” or “Which are the rock type Pokemon?”

The bot is actually pretty good at answering these kinds of questions, I’ll give it that. But I couldn’t help but think back to the story that I talked about a couple of weeks ago, “A Natural Language User Interface is Just a User Interface” and ask myself, is this really better than a web page, or an app? And really, the answer is I’m not sure. On the one hand, the questions as I’ve typed them above are pretty wordy, and more than I’d want to regularly type on a phone. But, you can kind of reverse engineer the parse tree pretty easily and just type in a type like “electric” when you want to know how to beat that type, or add the word pokemon, eg type “electric pokemon,” when you want to know some examples of that type. Plus, while there are a good couple of dozen Pokemon Go Guide apps in the Play Store, most of them look like crap. This suggests that while a Natural Language UI is still a UI” a good Natural Language UI one is easier to make than a good GUI. Or perhaps bad LUIs are easier to use than bad GUIs.

Well, I think I’ve fulfilled my obligation to talk about Pokemon Go on the podcast. Sorry if you’ve been trying to avoid the topic. Go Team Instinct!