Microsoft has offered an update on its recently launched support for bots on its Skype messaging service. They offer everything from buying a ticket to a concert to even chatting with Mr. Spock of Star Trek.
Microsoft first started rolling out support for bots in Skype in late March as part of the company's overall push to develop and release better artificial intelligence products. In a blog post, Microsoft stated that since that time over 30,000 developers have been working on Skype bots.
One of them is the recently-launched Spock bot, designed to help promote the recent movie Star Trek Beyond. Adding "Spock" to your Skype contact list will allow you to chat with the second-in-command of the U.S.S. Enterprise about the details of Vulcan logic.
Other bots offer more helpful tasks in the real world. Microsoft says:
For example, we've partnered with Skyscanner, an industry leader in global travel search, to help take the hassle out of planning a trip. The Skyscanner Bot lets you search for flights either individually or as part of a group, returning live prices and route options within Skype, based on location suggestions like "Paris in July" or "Spain."
We've also been working closely with StubHub, one of the world's largest ticket marketplaces, to bring you a fun, simple way to find your tickets to an amazing event. Add the StubHub Bot to find tickets to some of life's most memorable artists, athletes, performers and experiences—all in one chat. StubHub for Skype makes finding your next great experience as easy as chatting with friends.
Other Skype bots include Hipmunk, for help in getting the best hotel and flight prices for your next trip, and the IFTTT Bot, which sends out automated messages from your favorite apps, devices and websites. Microsoft recently hosted its first Skype Bot Hackathon in Palo Alto, California. Attendees create new bots designed to help choose a good place for dinner or to sign up for health insurance.