One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of various automated systems for providing or obtaining information, specifically (a) (a trademark in the United States for) a computerized telephone query handling system in which callers select options as directed by a synthesized or recorded voice in order to receive desired information (now rare); (b) a program or utility for obtaining information from the Internet which does not require the direct control of the user.
1980s; earliest use found in ABA Banking Journal. From info- + -bot.
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