Microsoft has released a new series of chat bots for Skype, including a Skyscanner bot that will help users search for flights and a StubHub bot to search for tickets.
The partner-inspired bots, which were announced in April, are now available on the Skype Bot directory on Android, Windows, iOS, Mac and Web apps.
Alongside StubHub and Skyscanner, Skype users can also get a IFTTT bot to monitor automated messages from connected devices, and chat to a bot version of Star Trek’s Spock – “to learn the ways of Vulcan logic”.
“In the past few months we’ve been working with different partners and developers to bring you new bots that provide great experiences,” said Microsoft.
“For example, we’ve partnered with Skyscanner, an industry leader in global travel search, to help take the hassle out of planning a trip. The Skyscanner Bot lets you search for flights either individually or as part of a group, returning live prices and route options within Skype, based on location suggestions like ‘Paris in July’ or ‘Spain.’
“We’ve also been working closely with StubHub, one of the world’s largest ticket marketplaces, to bring you a fun, simple way to find your tickets to an amazing event. Add the StubHub Bot to find tickets to some of life’s most memorable artists, athletes, performers and experiences—all in one chat. StubHub for Skype makes finding your next great experience as easy as chatting with friends.”
Another new bot, from company Hipmunk, finds flight and hotel deals for holidays, and searches based on price and location preferences.
The bots join an already existing selection of robotic friends available on Skype, including ‘artificially intelligent BFF’ Mitsuku, and feline meme generator Memecat. Yes, some are more useful than others.
While Skype’s new bots are targeting consumers, other companies such as Cisco are enlisting the help of bots to make money in the enterprise.
Cisco has recently started work with messaging company Gupshup to grow the use of chatbots in the company’s Spark collaboration platform.
Cisco has also announced a partnership with API.ai, a company that develops natural language software, to aid in developers in building chat bot interfaces.
“Chatbots are quickly transforming the way we use computers, providing a simpler, easier and conversational interface to advanced services,” said Beerud Sheth, CEO of Gupshup. “Working with Cisco has made it possible for us to expose the enterprise to bots, which will soon transform virtually every business workflow.”
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