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Bots also arrive on Skype

Microsoft publishes the bot development kit and today releases the first ones on Skype for Windows, iOS and Android

(Photo: Maurizio Pesce / Wired)(Photo: Maurizio Pesce / Wired)

San Francisco – After Messenger, Slack and Telegram, bots also arrive on Skype. During the ongoing Build conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced a development kit to import bots already programmed for other platforms and to create new ones. It starts immediately on Windows, iOS and Android with text chats. Here is a list of the first bots available: there are those of Bing already active on Telegram, one to receive news, one to search for music and one to search for images and gifs online, there is a CaptionBot that describes the images you send them there is even an unbot to explore the Build program, and can be consulted on Skype, Slack or via SMS. The Bot Framework, in fact, designed to program botnot only for Skype, but for any environment in which a conversation exists, including Office 365, Outlook, LINE and Twitter.

Microsoft's intention to also manage voice messages, to include Cortana: the voice assistant will thus be able to help users interact with different apps, to identify people, search for or underline parts of text or show additional information on the content discussed. For example, during the demo on the Moscone West stage, Cortana invited the Westin Hotel bot to chat between two people discussing a trip, to book a room whose details were then automatically added to the calendar.

According to the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, bots will take the place of applications: instead of looking for the right app or browsing a thousand information, it will be enough talk to a bot on your favorite chat, using natural language. For this reason, the development kit designed to allow anyone to make their own bot, while some additional skills will be necessary for Video Bots, which will propose not only an interlocutor of only artificial intelligence, but also a virtual environment created in graphics.

In the coming months, Skype will also be integrated with HoloLens, to bring video calls into augmented reality.

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