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Bing testing Skype powered chatbots for local restaurant searches

It looks like Bing is jumping on the train with Skype chatbots, the automated AIs that provide information and chat fun between conversations, particularly when it comes to booking flights, setting up reservations, and interacting with businesses as a consumer. Earlier today, Search Engine Land uncovered, with the help of a tip from a reader, a chat bot while using Microsoft’s search engine, but it was extremely limited to a select handful of results.

While searching for the Monsoon restaurant in Bellevue, users are being greeted with a suddenly new result. Bing is presenting a card for them with the restaurant’s information as well as a “Questions? Ask Monsoon bot for help” that directs them to open a small Skype popup. The chat automatically greeted the user by name, drawing from the Skype account on the PC.

This bot is individually named for the restaurant of which the card is a result. For example, Monsoon has Monsoon bot while El Gaucho has El Gaucho bot. The chat was to be expected, a bit clunky with premade phrases to ask such as showing directions, parking options, formal attire, reservation requirements, price range, discounts, and more.

SEL decided to test the results of Bing, looking for more cards like Monsoon bot to interact with. According to the article, the bot is only showing up for Redmond and Bellevue, Washington, areas surrounding Microsoft’s home office. It’s worth noting that the limited range might be an experimental beta for this Skype bot on Bing.

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