It’s Not Their Pop Idol, but a Bot. Fans Cheer Anyway.

In the music world, “bot” is often a dirty word, conjuring up the tools used by high-tech ticket scalpers. Yet 50 Cent, Aerosmith, Snoop Dogg and Kiss have all deputized chatbots as their automatic, ever-alert greeters on Facebook Messenger, handling the flood of inquiries that would overwhelm any human.

When someone connects to Maroon 5 on Messenger, a text bubble pops up: “Hi,” it says, “I’m the Maroon 5 bot. Want to be the first to know when we release new music?” A series of questions with multiple-choice answers follows, leading the fan down a path lined with emojis and video clips; social media links then point other fans back to the bot.

It is a purposely simple interaction, created through technology developed by a…

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