Skype's new Heston Bot can dish out hot cooking tips

A number of interesting chatbots have popped up for Skype since their introduction to the platform last year, but the latest from Microsoft is its first crack at helping you become a better cook. Borrowing its name from Michelin star chef Heston Blumenthal, the Heston Bot was developed to "change the way you think about food."

From Microsoft (opens in new tab):

Combing a lifetime of culinary experimentation with the power of conversational computing, the Heston Bot provides users with eye-opening cooking tips, exclusive seasonal menus, and personal anecdotes directly from the master. With Heston, cooking becomes a fun and immersive experience that evolves as your skills do.

The Heston Bot will also serve up new recipes based on themes each month as the seasons change, Microsoft says.

Heston Bot will most certainly only appeal to a niche audience, but it's a neat look at how Skype's bot efforts can be leveraged for new tasks. If you're down for adding a bit of extra tech to your cooking process, you can try out Heston Bot now by searching for it in the Skype Bot Directory (opens in new tab) and clicking "Add to Contacts."

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Why on earth would I use a bot?  Especially in a messaging app?  And for cooking, of all things?  I swear, people are just making up things to do for no real reason other than to say "look what I can do".
  • And it hurts you how?
  • Be grateful it's not the Gordon Ramsay not. That would hurt a lot more
  • can be fun/helpful
  • Neither of which applies to ScubaDog
  • Because in the future these "bots" will be the go between AI computing and us analog humans. So they think anyways... 
  • Agreed. I'd rather ask Cortana to get a simple answer than use her to ask what bot to use for whatever my question.
  • That, at least, makes more sense.
  • I will say, this bot seems more like a way to advertise a site than assisting me with things. Everything just gives me a web link to their website to look at recipes their... How abot that... 
  • You realize this bot will also be available on Cortana integrated speakers, right? I know you are educated fellow so you also know people put those in their kitchens and use them for cooking, for recipes and what not.
  • Actually, I pulled up a recipe on the Food & Drink app, which supported gesture control to move back and forth through the recipe.  THAT is useful.
  • Food and Drink app? Didn't that app go the way of the DoDo bird?
  • I agree. These things are a waste of time.
  • I tried a couple out of curiosity. Was quite disappointed to find they don't really do much more as far as complexity to bots we used to make for IRC chat rooms 15 years ago. Not a lot to them to be honest and not sure what the big deal is.
  • Almost as bad as certain people who complain about every single thing right?
  • I'd prefer a "Gordon bot"
  • Every answer would be "**** *** **** **** *** now!!!!"
  • Yep! :-D Not good if you have kids I guess lol.
  • These bots are a ridiculous joke. This AI hype is annoying me every day in tech news. Keep your garbage bots and assistants in your laboratory and bring them out in 30 years when they are not as dumb as my ass. I checked some skype bots and they are all a complete joke. For example Bing image bot. What does it do? The same as bing image search, instead you don't get all the results but like 3 pics. What an epic dumb **** this all is. Don't believe the hype people. True intelligent AI is still far off.
  • I like it!
  • Only for northern hemisphere though, April certainly isn't spring for us!
  • Just gave it a spin. Best bot experience so far :D
    For those thinking "it is silly to talk to a bit", look at it this way: It is not much different than a website filled with info. The only difference is that the info isn't scattered across pages and hyperlinks, but casually offered in a order that makes much more sense based on what you find interesting :)