In a heated AI assistant market, Microsoft is also gearing up to introduce its Bing assistant bot in an attempt to rival Google’s Assistant and Viv(the smart assistant developed by ex-Siri founders).
Microsoft has started development of a productivity agent that will be able to communicate with users and provide them with meaningful data, reports ZdNet. The bot being dubbed as ‘Bing Concierge Bot‘ will be able to communicate over a variety of conversational platforms, like Skype, Telegram, Messenger, WhatsApp and more.
The details of the bot leaked online when Microsoft intentionally(or unintentionally!?) posted a job listing looking for an engineer to join the bot team at the tech giant. The Redmond giant has already been spending a lot of time in their research lab trying to figure out the right recipe for a perfect AI-powered bot.
The job posting has since been removed, but ZdNet has a copy of the project details that the engineer is/was required for. The job posting describes the bot as follows:
In Bing Concierge Bot Our team we are building a highly intelligent productivity agent that communicates with the user over a conversation platform, such as Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. The agent does what a human assistant would do: it runs errands on behalf of the user, by automatically completing tasks for the user. The users talk to the agent in natural language, and the agent responds in natural language to collect all the information; once ready, it automatically performs the task for the user by connecting to service providers. For example, the user might ask ‘make me a reservation at an Italian place tonight’, and the agent will respond with ‘for how many people?’; after several such back-and-forth turns it will confirm and book the restaurant that the user picked.
From what we read and perceived from the description of the bot, it has too much similarity with the Google Assistant launched yesterday at Google I/O 2016. Microsoft first lifted the curtains off the ‘Bot Framework‘ that could be used to build bots for Skype and other platforms at the Build Conference 2016.
You can currently try-out a handful of Microsoft’s bots available in the Bot Directory, like Caption Bot, Bing Image Bot, Summarise and more. Kik, the social messaging app has also recognized the power of the Microsoft Bot Framework and is now collaborating with Redmond to develop bots for their application.
With the rise of multitude of AI bots each day, Microsoft certainly doesn’t want to be left behind on the innovation front. Cortana already is a solid example of Microsoft’s AI capabilities, but will ‘Bing Conceirge Bot’ be able to one up its success. We just hope that Microsoft’s ‘Bing Concierge Bot’ doesn’t go all haywire, like their Twitter chatbot ‘Tay’ (if you remember….of course you do…) and start spewing racial slurs at the users. Microsoft has declined to comment on the matter at the moment, but we’ll keep you updated once we get more information on Microsoft powered bots.