As part of announcements at Microsoft’s Build 2016 conference, Skype announced a new ‘Bot’ platform. Called Skype Bots, this feature is described by the company as “a new way to bring expertise, products, services and entertainment into your daily messaging on Skype.”
In the new platform, the services provided on Skype go beyond mere video chats and voice call features. The enhancement within Skype will allow you to look something up, such as check your calendar, manage your travel and hotel bookings, etc., with Microsoft’s very own digital assistant, Cortana. Additionally, this feature will also allow developers to build experiences for their services.
Along with the integration with Cortana, Skype will also be able to interact with “bots” or automated artificial intelligence agents from other organizations. These Skype bots are currently in preview stages and are only available in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S. The only bots you will be chatting with now are the Bing Music, Bing News and Bing Images bots.
Skype Bots Respond To Search Queries
The Skype Bots work like a limited search engine, by responding to your search queries if you use specific keywords. And this is not it. Skype is soon going to launch the Skype Video Bots which will enable Skype users to interact with characters and businesses via a virtual personality through Skype video. However, to access the bots, you will need to be on the latest Skype clients. For Windows PCs, open Skype and go to Help > Check for updates. In iOS and Android, go to the relevant app store and hit update or download from a link below.
This week, two new Skype bots are expected to bring additional functionality to the Microsoft program. One of the bots, named Murphy, is designed to allow you to ask “what if” questions. Based off Microsoft’s Project Murphy, after the initial question the bot provides you a meme result if the right question is asked. In a somewhat similar fashion, the second bot, named Summarize, reads a link to an online story and summarized it in three paragraphs.
In the wake of all these new developments, Skype is inviting developers to join them and develop bots. They have come up with a this feature which gives developers access to the preview of the Skype Bot Platform. Microsoft also plans to organize a Global Skype Bot Hackathon in May.
Microsoft sees this integration beginning of take technology to a whole new level which can shape everything from shopping, playing a game and ordering food to scheduling meetings, booking trips, controlling your smart home and much more.