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Skype's chat bots are now available to carry on conversations on Mac

If you're a user of OSX, then you can now partake in speaking with Microsoft's chatbots on Skype
By: Jeff Williams | Social Networking News | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 7:08 pm

Chat bots are becoming increasingly more complex with the ability to actually hold down a real(ish) conversation. Microsoft has been previewing some of their advanced AI (not the now failed Tay project) through Skype, but it has previously only been available to users of Windows, Android or even iOS. The desktop (and larger mobile) Apple crowd had been left out. That's changed, just in case you'd rather not talk to humans.




The Mac client now natively supports talking to the bots, as does the web client, of course. Bot integration is now available because sometimes talking to real humans can be a pain in the tuckus. Though this isn't an example of advanced interaction, you're able to try speaking to six different bots that are in a beta state. These six bots are able to spit out basic information to queries you make. You can ask for the latest news, weather, and other things like that. They even understand natural language, so you shouldn't have to modify how you ask questions to get the proper response.


Now, to actually make them available you'll have to take a number of steps. On your Mac in the Skype app, navigate to Contacts, then select Add Bot. Easy enough really. In the web client, all you have to do is click on the Discover Bot on the left-hand side. Then you'll be able to interact with relatively intelligent assistants, which is what it amounts to at the moment.


The services they provide are elementary at best, but these can grow as we're able to create more sophisticated AI programs. Even understanding natural language input is a feat unto itself. As AI can become more sophisticated, we might see actual chatbots that can respond naturally to what we input as well. Maybe one day, but we'll have to wait so that the Internet doesn't make it into an anti-Semitic console hater.

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