At its annual Build Conference in San Francisco Microsoft announced that the company is planning to bring bots to ‘conversational platforms’. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the conference with a presentation of how the technologies will work. The Cortana and Skype demonstration showed how Cortana, Microsoft’s own digital personal assistant, can help you get things done directly in your Skype chats. For instance, Cortana proactively helps you find information, manages your calendar and connects to other Bots that are relevant to you, all within Skype.
During the demonstration Cortana was able to figure out that the user was attending a conference, which was mentioned in a personal chat with another user, see the time of the event and then proactively introduce a hotel bot to suggest booking possibilities.
Integration of bots in Skype is now available on Windows, iOS and Android devices as a variety of previews. A simple preview is available for all users. A preview of Skype Bots for users to test and provide feedback is currently available in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, and US.
Microsoft also encouraged developers to build their own bots, not only for Skype, but also for other platforms. For this, the company introduced Skype Bot SDK and Bot Framework that provides a possibility to look at the few bots that the company had created itself, such as music or news bots, and also lets companies and brands build a bot of their own to be integrated into Skype.
Skype Bots will come to life through messaging today, and in the future will be available for audio and video calling as well, claims the company.
“Each Bot will enhance your Skype experience in its own way, bringing a new dimension into your everyday Skype chats by helping turn your ideas and plans into actions. This is only the beginning of taking this exciting technology and together, we can shape what it looks like to shop, play a game, order food, schedule meetings, book trips, control your smart home and more,” stated Skype team.