Microsoft Job Posting Teases 'Bing Concierge Bot'

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Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant: Everyone has a digital helper now—be they consumers or companies. So if you think Microsoft is going to rest on its laurels with Cortana, you're wrong.

According to a new job posting from Microsoft, the company is looking to create a new Bing bot that would, presumably, serve as a behind-the-scenes component for Cortana.

As reported by ZDNet, Microsoft posted a now-deleted job post for an engineer to join Redmond's "Bing Concierge Bot" team. Here's the company's description:

"We are building a highly intelligent productivity agent that communicates with the user over a conversation platform, such as Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. The agent does what a human assistant would do: it runs errands on behalf of the user, by automatically completing tasks for the user. The users talk to the agent in natural language, and the agent responds in natural language to collect all the information; once ready, it automatically performs the task for the user by connecting to service providers. For example, the user might ask 'make me a reservation at an Italian place tonight', and the agent will respond with 'for how many people?'; after several such back-and-forth turns it will confirm and book the restaurant that the user picked."

This news comes on the heels of Google's big announcement at this week's I/O developer conference that it's working on an upgraded iteration of Google Now called Google Assistant. It arrives later this year on things like Google Home and the Allo chat app. But it won't just fetch you simple replies to queries. Google is designing the bot to be conversational, which requires a lot more understanding of language, context, and relevance than its current digital helper.

"The assistant is an ambient experience that will work seamlessly across devices and contexts. So you can summon Google's help no matter where you are or what the context. It builds on all our years of investment in deeply understanding users' questions," Google said in a blog post.

Most are comparing Google's moves into the home (with its new assistant in tow) to Amazon's Alexa platform and Echo devices. Microsoft, sadly, isn't getting much mention in these matchups, but the company certainly seems to want users to converse with its helpers, too. So, how long until we see a Microsoft-branded smarthome speaker-box-thingy?

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