Following the release of a new version of Skype for Windows 10, Microsoft has just announced the introduction of a series of new chat bots for the platform. They are automated assistants that will facilitate certain tasks like making travel arrangements and buying tickets for events.
Microsoft first showed off the Skype bots at the annual BUILD conference, where they demonstrated how users interacted with them and how they were able to add plans to your calendar, make reservations or even pre-populating conversations with text in order to save you time and energy on typing. They were later released in a limited preview, but those bots were also much simpler, only being able to summarize a web page, extract information from the search engines and locate images.
The chat bots that were released today are capable of doing more advanced tasks than those in the preview. One defining feature of the bots is that they have artificial intelligence. As users chat and interact with the bots they become better at predicting the user’s needs.
According to a Skype blog post:
“We want bots to become the quickest way to handle simple tasks, like shopping or managing your calendar, and the most effortless way to complete complex tasks, like planning a vacation from scratch.”
Some of the bots with particular functions are Skyscanner Bot, the result of Skype’s partnership with the travel search website Skyscanner. This bot allows you to search for group or individual flights, find pricing information and facilitates booking. Hipmunk is another travel assistant bot, but in addition to Skyscanner, it also offers hotel and other general advice based on your previous preferences including prices and locations.
The Stubhub bot developed in partnership with the ticket marketplace website Stubhub. It helps you find the best seats at the lowest prices for various events like concerts, sports, games, etc.
The IFTTT bot allows users to receive automated messages from various devices, websites, and apps. The bot will send you notifications depending on your selected criteria, like news articles on a certain subject.
Microsoft has also released a chatbot with the personality of Spock, the famous character from Star Trek.
The chat bots are currently available for Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android Skype apps.
Do you plan on using the new chat bots for Skype?
Image source: Wikimedia