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The Russian internet company Yandex has invested an unspecified amount in the chat bot creation company Chatfuel.
Chatfuel helps clients create chat bots, computer programs that can converse with a user in a convincingly human way.
Chat bots generally use artificial intelligence to understand what a user is asking and provide an appropriate response, usually by selecting a pre-written answer from a database.
A Yandex spokesperson commented on why it had chosen to invest in Chatfuel, saying that it sees chat bots as a technology of the future that will help companies communicate with their users in a cheaper and more efficient manner.