Microsoft yesterday introduced its new news reading bot powered by Bing, called Rowe. These bots are mostly in the preview mode across platforms like Kik, Skype, and Telegram, and have a long way to go before being released globally. The initial bots like Vision, Caption and Murphy were released on 30th March 2016.
These bots attempt to modify web searching. For example, Murphy is for “What if” questions and Caption bot is for captioning the images. Here are the screenshot taken from the results from the caption bot on Skype:
These pictures clearly show that these “bots” are in their nascent stages, and so is Rowe.
Rowe allows you to punch in a topic and it gives you all the news related to it on the web. No different from ‘Google News’. The only difference is that it also lets you personalise the news as soon as it is available on the web. But, ‘Google Now’ does something much more advanced. It uses Google analytics to identify your interests and notifies you with all the important news (I keep getting notifications and reminders about Chelsea FC matches). You do not have to go through the trouble of personalizing anything.
These bots have been released in a few countries including India, Australia, USA, and the UK. The idea clearly is to test it across different demographics. Microsoft bots may or may not sound like a novel idea, but it sure is intriguing as to what Microsoft is planning to do with it. All we can do until then is try not to get irritated with the preview versions.