Microsoft building a productivity bot

Microsoft is building a productivity agent, called Bing Concierge Bot, and it is, in many respects, quite similar to the recently announced Google Assistant Bot.

The news came out as the company posted a job opening, looking for an engineer to join the bot-building team. Just like the Google Assistant Bot, Bing Concierge Bot will draw all most of its powers from the search engine Bing (Google’s Assistant Bot, obviously, draws its strength from Google).

According to the job opening, the bot will be able to communicate with users over platforms such as Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, and others.

It will also be able to ‘run errands on behalf of the user’, by doing some tasks itself.

Microsoft has also said the bot will be able to communicate with its ‘boss’ in a humanly fashion, or as the company puts it, in ‘natural language’:

“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,” it says in the job opening.

Chatbots, productivity agents and other AI-inspired programs are the next frontier where the ‘big guys’ in the tech industry will compete.

Facebook already has a chat bot used by a couple of companies, Google’s already in the business, and Microsoft is developing a bunch of bots, including Bing Image Bot, Caption Bot, Summarize bot and Bing Music Bot.

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