Microsoft has added new features to Skype chatbots that include group chats, visual cards, and Bing services. This is part of Microsoft’s 2016 aim to improve the Skype experience with the new Microsoft’s Bot Framework.

In April 2016, Bill Gate’s company made an announcement at Microsoft’s Build 2016 conference of Skype Bots, including new artificial intelligence technologies that would bring new experiences like summarizing websites or looking up images on Skype platform.

Skype chatbots
Skype new chatbots include group chats, visual cards, and Bing services. Credit:

With these chatbots, developers can create group chats to use with friends or even with coworkers, a feature that is already in Slack. This feature is great for Skype users because, from now on, they are able to receive and reply messages from more than one user in the same chat window.

Skype chatbots also offer visual cards, which allow users to share images, with buttons, receipts, and carousels. Developers who use the Microsoft Bot’s framework are able to build bots for other apps like Skype, Office 365 mail, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, and SMS.

In addition to this, users are able to use their Skype account to log into other apps. For example, now it is possible to log in Bing services with your Skype account. The company said this could make it easier to detect both entities.

Skype group program manager Lilian Rincon stated in a blog post that logging in Skype with other apps will also improve natural language understanding in Skype Bots – a new technology that is recently being developed in industry.

“Using the Microsoft Bot Framework you can publish your bot to Skype, and submit for promotion in the Skype and Microsoft bot directories, as well as get access to great bot building tools,” Rincon wrote.

This new feature has come out just a week after Facebook announced upcoming features for Messenger chatbots, which includes rating chatbots.

30,000 developers are working with Skype chatbots

Microsoft’s current CEO Satya Nadella said that this new technology is a vehicle to promote conversations as a computing platform, meaning that in the future, AI assistants like Cortana will help humans to achieve certain tasks like booking a room hotel, flights or even making reservations at restaurants.

Microsoft is not alone in the bots race. Facebook, Slack, Telegram, and Google are some of the companies that are contributing to the devolvement of these new technologies. By providing better services to users and developers, these companies would definitely attract more users and therefore more sales.

It is incredible how quickly the adoption of chatbots have increased. Microsoft stated that more than 20,000 developers had signed up to interact with the Microsoft Bot Framework in its first month. According to Venture Beat, a company’s spokesperson mentioned that there are around 30,000 developers that are working with Skype’s chatbots right now

Microsoft’s most featured bots are MurphyBot, Summarize, and Kik’s Vision Bot. Currently, Skype has bots like Ava Zoom, Hello Stranger 2, and Mitsuku.

Source: Venture Beat