Microsoft Launches Skype Bots For Mac And Web Clients In AI And Search Assistant Harmony

Bots are taking over, folks. Do you hear us? We said bots are taking over! But don't worry, we're not talking about the inevitable kowtowing of humans to our future robot overlords, these are software bots for Skype that are now available on Mac systems, and they're friendly. They're also useful in certain situations, which is why Microsoft is so keen on pushing out Skype Bots.

Microsoft introduced Skype Bots earlier in the month at Microsoft's Build 2016 conference as a way to enhance the Skype experience and also to showcase how these artificial intelligence technologies can bring about new experiences. Some are helpful in what they do, like summarizing webpages or looking up images, while others such as Murphy, which answers "What if" questions, are more for giggles.

Skype Bots for Mac

Now bots are coming to Skype on Mac in preview form. If you want to check them out, make sure you're running the latest version of Skype, then head over to the Contacts menu. Select "Add Bot...." to see a list of available bots. If one catches your eye, add it to your Contacts and start chatting. Bots are also available for the web version of Skype. If you're using Skype for Web, select "Discover Bots" on the left toolbar and you'll see a list of available bots.

Microsoft also added two new bots to the fray. The first is the aforementioned Murphy bot and the second is Summarize, which is designed to give an overview of a website when you don't have time to read the whole thing. Neither are game changers, but they're fun distractions, albeit they need some work.

Several of the questions we asked Murphy, such as "What if bots ruled the world?," were met with pauses followed by dead ends.

"Wait, I'm still learning and this question is taking a while. I might have to get back to you later on this one...," Murphy replies when stumped.

The  takeaway? Bots are fun, but far from ready for world dominance.