MANILA, Philippines – Is the battle of the machine learning chatbots underway?
It seems Microsoft is joining the fray, with a new report saying it is working on a competitor to the Google Assistant bot.
ZDNET on Thursday, May 19, cited a now-removed job post listing that was looking for an engineer to help develop the bot.
The chatbot – called Bing Concierge Bot – would be able to talk to people over a number of services, such as Skype, Messenger, SMS, Whatsapp, and Telegram.
The job listing previously described the chatbot's functions:
"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 users talk to the agent in natural language, and the agent responds in natural language to collect all the information; once ready, it automatically performs the task for the user by connecting to service providers.
"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 announcement, which Microsoft did not comment on, may not be as surprising as one might think.
Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.