A job posting for the “Bing Concierge Bot,” spotted by ZDNet, said the team is working on a “highly intelligent productivity agent,” much like Amazon’s Alexa or the recently announced Google Assistant.
However, instead of being housed in a speaker, users will be able to chat with the Bing bot over existing communication platforms like Skype, Messenger, texting, WhatsApp and Telegram. By using natural language processing, the bot lets users talk more casually to get things done.
“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 posting reads. “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.”
The Bing Concierge Bot sounds a lot like the Cortana-powered Skype bot unveiled at Microsoft Build this year, but it’s ability to work across platforms may let it stand out in the quickly growing bot market. The ill-fated Tay took off so quickly in part because it was available on messaging service Kik, as well as Twitter.
The job posting is looking for developers across the spectrum, from natural language processing pros to payment and authentication experts.