Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trying to get Cortana to do more. The firm is making a platform that will allow developers to create chatbots that will interact with the AI assistant.
The company aims to make it easier for developers to come up with chatbots that use Cortana to carry out tasks such as booking hotels or ordering takeout among other things. Bots respond better through artificial intelligence compared to software apps because they can follow a wide range of instructions and they are also more convenient and effective. Amazon wants to employ a similar strategy employed by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) with its virtual assistant called Alexa. The latter can perform tasks like playing music at the command of the user.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft talked about the long-term vision that the company has for Cortana as far as leveraging conversational intelligence is concerned. He also believes that pushing the envelope with Cortana will make Windows 10 more appealing as a center of online interactions. Chatbots have existed for quite some time but they became more practical with the onset of the internet age. Nadella also told developers that bots are the new apps.
Skype’s program manager Lilian Rincon showed how it might be possible when Cortana set a date for a conference. Details about the date of the conference were mentioned in a Skype video, and the conference was supposed to happen in Dublin on the date mentioned in the video message. In addition to marking the date on Lincoln’s calendar, Cortana went a step further and contacted the bot of the hotel chain through Skype and the bot then suggested a room. This process made it easier for the program manager to make reservations.
Lincoln’s case is the perfect example of how integrating Cortana would offer more value and benefits. Analyst Ross MacMillan believes that Microsoft services would be used more frequently if Cortana was integrated with bots from other companies. However, bots are also subject to flaws and Microsoft recently terminated an experimental bot known as “Tay” after users on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s social platform taught it to use offensive language.