Before Facetime, Skype introduced the idea of instantaneous global video and text chats to the average consumer. Fast forward several years and human talkers are no longer the focal point of Skype’s mission.
Skype announced Wednesday (Aug. 3) that it had launched a series of chatbots (styled as “Skype Bots”) created by third-party partners to flesh out the platform’s AI services. Skype had tested these chatbots back in April, and after seeing “positive momentum” from the pilot project, it decided to move forward with a full suite of chatbots across Windows, Android, iOS, Mac and web platforms.
“For example, we’ve partnered with Skyscanner, an industry leader in global travel search, to help take the hassle out of planning a trip,” Skype explained in a blog post. “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.'”
Other third-party chatbots include a StubHub-branded bot for buying and selling event tickets, an IFTTT bot to help users automate social media settings and a Star Trek Spock bot, which does, well, does it really matter? It’s a Spock bot.