It was announced at Microsoft Build 2016 conference that Skype users will soon be able to books trips, shop, and plan your schedule, just by chatting with Cortana. The feature was demoed showing how Skype users will soon be able to start a chat with Cortana and get things done just by having a conversation.
According to Lilian Rincon who is Skype’s program manager, Cortana will broker the conversation with a third-party bot. This essentially means, Skype will know which company or service you want to talk to, bring a new bot into your chat to help out, and then get rid of the bot when you’re done.
The new features are strongly reminiscent of what Facebook is doing with Messenger. It’s allowing third parties to build bots that can help their customers through chat. Facebook also has an assistant, called M, that can step in the middle to handle interactions with third parties. Unlike Cortana, Facebook sometimes does this using human input.
In addition to chat bots, Rincon also said that Skype will be adding what sound like video bots. The plan is to bring intelligence into real-time video.
Bots launch today, though it isn’t clear what will be available at launch. Developers are also getting access to start coding bots today, so presumably there should be some soon.