Microsoft’s Bing search engine has been upgraded with a Skype-powered chatbot to help its users find local restaurants. A reader tipped website Search Engine Land, saying that Bing has been given a special chatbot that shows up to assist users who are asking about local restaurants in the Seattle area.
Writer Matt McGee of the site stated that he was able to reproduce the chatbot on desktop, but not in its iOS app nor in the mobile browser search results.
While searching for a restaurant in Bellevue, specifically one by the name of Monsoon, Bing presents users with 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 at the bottom of the page.
The list of restaurants where the chatbot appears seems to be very limited (about 6-8 restaurants), indicating that this service is likely in its early test stages. The bots themselves seem to be name after the particular restaurant that the user has searched, i.e. Monsoon bot for Monsoon and El Gaucho bot for El Gaucho.
According to the reporter who brought about the results, the chatbot offers a number of different questions you can ask, including these:
- Show me the directions to your place?
- What parking options you have?
- What dishes do you recommend?
- Do you accept Amex?
- How do I reserve a table?
- What is your price range?
- Can I wear formals?
- Are there any discounts?
The tech giant has already introduced chatbots that help to service you when it comes to booking flights, setting up reservations, and interacting with businesses as a consumer. Surely a new on would be greatly appreciated (especially when you’ve waited last minute to find a venue to take out that special someone on their Birthday……).
What about our readers, have you seen the chatbot in your search results yet? Are you waiting for it to come to an area near you. Let us know in the comment section below!