Microsoft has announced a new way for developers to create bots that can do a variety of tasks, from playing Tic Tac Toe to having full conversations with you. The Rich Bot framework will have cognitive services and will learn through machine learning. An open source Bot Builder SDK will make it easy to build bots that work over SMS, Office, Skype, Twitter, Slack and a variety of other services as well. The new runtime works off of Microsoft's own Azure platform, and it supports both Node.JS and C#.
There will be a Bot Directory to showcase a sample of the open source bots. Microsoft doesn't want a single purpose bot, and instead "evnvisions a world of many conversational canvases." Bots will be able to understand natural language input, so you can ask to order a pizza, and it will ask what kind. Developers will be able to build rules and parse responses, and the bots will understand synonyms, misspellings and other languages for semantics. You can teach your bots to help them better understand things in the future, so common slang like "my crib" will be known as "users house". Confusing topics or commands can be turned over to humans for additional assistance. At this point, humans will then clarify the misunderstanding and confirm that the information is correct.