Microsoft is working on a new human-like assistant bot for messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
The digital assistant also known as Bing Concierge Bot could be the next highly intelligent productivity agent that will be able to automatically perform tasks and run errands on a user’s behalf the same way a human assistant would do.
Microsoft´s Bing Concierge Bot will be able to connect with users over a variety of messaging platforms such as Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to ZDNet the information was revealed by a job posting from the company that’s now been removed.
The job listing provided the following information:
“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.”
Ways to interact with the Bing Concierge Bot
Users will interact with the Bing Concierge Bot using natural language to enable the assistant to gather information on an appointed task, and connect them with service providers to complete it. For instance, to book a table in a restaurant, a user can prompt the Bing Concierge to make a reservation by going out to the web and complete the reservation.
The team who is working on the Bing Concierge Bot is still testing the digital assistant for its end-to-end development. Microsoft is searching for engineers to further enhance the technology by focusing on natural language understanding, dialogue
modeling, task execution, and credit card payments and authentication.
Another similar concept that Google announced at this week’s Google I/O, called Google Assistant that was added into the Allo messaging app, it will allow users to give less effort to move from one app to another while they perform tasks.
In addition, Microsoft has already started making bots on Skype through the Microsoft Bot Framework called Skype Bots, which is used to merge services and products into everyday Skype messages, and its available in preview for Windows, Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Web.
Skype Bots were first unveiled during Microsoft´s Build 2016 where CEO Satya Nadella claimed bots would become an important part of future methods of communication. According to Nadella, “Human language is the new UI layer, bots are the new apps, and digital assistants are meta apps.”