Microsoft is building a 'concierge' bot that acts like your personal assistant


Cortana on android phone


Cortana running on Android.

Microsoft is building a Bing Concierge Bot - a new bot for messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger which "does what a human assistant would do," according to a job posting for a software engineer.


Much like the just-announced Google Assistant, and Facebook's still-in-testing M, it sounds like Bing Concierge will let you get stuff done straight from your chat app.

Tell Bing Concierge to book you a table at your favorite restaurant, for example, and it will ask how many and then go out to the web and do it for you.

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Under the hood, Bing Concierge will likely be powered by the same technology that lets Microsoft's existing Cortana assistant help you with your day-to-day tasks and answer questions.

But where Cortana "lives" inside Windows 10 and a pair of Android and iPhone apps, Bing Concierge can help you in the apps you already use, like Skype or WhatsApp or Messenger - just start a conversation. That's also an edge over Google Assistant and Facebook M, which are limited to the Google Allo and Facebook Messenger services, respectively.


Microsoft wants to infiltrate Facebook Messenger with a new 'concierge' bot

The existence of Bing Concierge doesn't come as a huge surprise. Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a series of new tools to help developers build their own chatbots, calling the concept "conversations as a platform."

Nadella has even gone so far as to say that the idea of talking to a bot to get stuff done could be as revolutionary as the touchscreen or the web itself.

So, given the company's existing investment into the technology, with Cortana and with its chatbot framework, it makes perfect sense to buy into its own hype and build a bot based on Bing. After all, Cortana is already pushing Bing to new heights, and perhaps Bing Concierge can take it even further.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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