And Chatbots have invaded Skype — as well (of course we remember Tay). Microsoft’s build conference today saw the company announce its intentions of launching bots to interact with users over Skype
Bots are all the rage nowadays and not one to left behind, Microsoft is drastically enhancing their role in its systems — starting with Skype.
Speaking on the topic, Skype group program manager Lilian Rincon said,
Skype video bots will reinvent the way friends, family, and businesses get together. For the first time, we will be able [to offer] a personalized experience for you to connect with your favorite character, business, or brand.
Meanwhile, the bots will also be working to improve video calls on Skype, although we are lacking the exact details on how it will happen. They have also received a boost in their abilities including adding other bots into the conversation and prepopulating chats intelligently.
The company has also introduced a brand new program to get developers started onto the path for deploying their own bots quickly along with the Bot Framework. The Framework is actually meant as an aid to developers and will let them build bots for their own applications.
Speaking on the importance of the role of bots in the future, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said,
Bots are like new applications. And digital assistants are meta apps, or like the new browsers. And intelligence is infused into all of your interactions. That’s the rich platform that we have.
The company’s interest into bots is well known and in fact, Microsoft is already working towards developing and marketing them as full fledged products in their own right — a significant attempt considering how many businesses have started taking their first steps along the path to being bot driven.
The bots are hitting Skype today over desktop, iOS, and Android. The company will also be introducing them to Skype for the HoloLens augmented reality headset, although the potential of the Lens makes me wonder if the bots will perhaps someday, take the form of walking and talking people there?