“Resistbot was born out of my personal frustrations with trying to contact my members of Congress.”
– Eric Ries, Creator of Resistbot
OCTOBER 16, 2017
Resistbot: Putting Citizens in Touch with Politicians
In today’s tumultuous political climate, there are more people than ever who feel passionately compelled to do something about the decisions that are being made in the United States. While much of the media’s focus has been on these changing political headlines, another story has been unfolding simultaneously: the explosive growth of chatbots and artificial intelligence.
It may not seem obvious at first how these two stories impact each other, but, in the mind of Eric Ries, the creator of Resistbot, it’s perfectly clear.
“Resistbot was born out of my personal frustrations with trying to contact my members of Congress,” says Ries, whose automated text messaging bot designed to facilitate fax communications to members of congress was born at about the same time the Trump administration began to focus its attention on the health care dilemmas that are increasingly rampant in this country.
Thanks to the innovators like Ries, Americans can use chatbots and AI to not only get involved in the government, but to also better mobilize when necessary. And while chatbots have been around for awhile now, doing things like helping nonprofits organize their volunteers, this new generation of bots is tapping into other powerful platforms, like Facebook Messenger. By doing so, they can do more than notify, they can actually put real people in touch with other real people – like the general public in touch with their representatives.
Resistbot, the completely donation-powered forerunner in this genre, is giving its users more options than simply adding their voice to form-letters, which have proven relatively ineffective. Through automated questions, your answers are collected and then are converted into a nicely formatted fax or letter, which is then sent directly to your local and state officials.
“It makes it insanely easy to generate a fax to each of my representatives every day,” says Ries.
And, thanks to the constant improvement of the AI technology backing chatbots, the future of Resistbot and other politically-inclined bots is looking bright. Better able to analyze and synthesize unique data, the chatbots of the future would be able to communicate with your phone’s GPS in order to do things like alert you to how much money the store you are standing in has donated to certain political groups or candidates. Armed this type of instant knowledge, Americans will not only be more directly plugged into politics, but they will also be equipped to make more informed decisions, ones that can, and will, reshape the country.