Pencil personalities.
Pencil personalities. (source: damianosullivan on Wikimedia Commons)

In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I speak with Lili Cheng, general manager of FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research. Cheng’s team is responsible for the Microsoft Bot Framework. She’s also a speaker at O’Reilly’s upcoming Bot Day on October 19, 2016, in San Francisco.

Cheng talks about Microsoft’s experimental bots and their goal of making conversations playful and engaging. We also discuss the importance of designing good dialog; the potential of workplace bots; and Xiaoice, Microsoft’s popular Chinese chatbot. We also reflect on the fate and significance of Microsoft’s Tay bot.

Bots of the week:

This week, I discuss three bots that either augment or replace customer-service representatives.

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ bot that gives you updates on your reservation through Facebook Messenger and provides a way to chat with a human representative
  • “Macy’s on Call,” a web-based bot that provides in-store users with information on where store departments -- and the restrooms -- are located.
  • Whole Foods Market Recipe bot, Facebook Messenger bot that gives shoppers an easy way to look up recipes on a mobile device while they are in the store.

Other links: