A chatbot has been added by Bing to assist users with some local search results for restaurants in the Seattle area. Matt McGee was able to replicate the chatbot option option in Bing’s desktop search results, but not in the OS app or their mobile browser search results.
This feature shows up at the bottom of the listing for some individual restaurants in the cities of Redmond and nearby Bellevue, Washington, which are bot outside Seattle. The chatbot was seen on six to eight different searches for specific restaurants, such as Monsoon in Bellevue. Looking at the example below, you’ll see the business information as an invitation (where it says “Questions? Ask Monsoon bot for help”) with a “Chat” call-to-action button on the right.
When users click the button, a chat window appears that says it is powered by Skype (which is owned by Skype).
There doesn’t seem to be any guide or help that will assist users in telling them what sorts of questions are able to be asked, so getting the hang of the chatbot can be bit clunk to use at first. The chatbot gives users number of different questions that can be asked. Some examples include:
- 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?
Here’s a couple of screenshots of the conversation I had with the chatbot:
It’s not known if this is a limited test or something that’s live for just anybody. Is this test purposely active only for restaurants near Bing’s headquarters. Will Bing use this chatbot feature more widely in the future? We don’t know right now.