Interest in bots that help individuals keep track of news continues to grow. Microsoft recently introduced one called Rowe, which gathers articles when users ask it to make recommendations. The app lives inside its Bing-powered personalized news reading app, News Pro.
Rowe is an experiment to help individuals keep up with their news interests. The bot will serve up news for an individual or for those who look like that individual when sent a selfie. When users unload images, Rowe will search for stories based on the content in the photo, according to Microsoft.
Bots, which attempt to change how people search for information and interact online through artificial intelligence, are being previewed in apps like Kik, Skype, and Telegram, and have a long way to go before being released globally.
Microsoft Rowe allows users to type in a topic and it provides all the news related to it on the Web -- similar to Google News.
The bot debuted in January and is now made available on the Web and as an app running on iOS. It gives users the ability to locate articles from more than 10,000 publishers and bloggers, but it offers a few other quirky features.
For example, it gives users the ability for the bot to talk about the news with the user. “We believe group discussion is a natural extension of news reading, especially when it’s about work,” wrote Yumao Lu, a principal development manager whose team works on Bing news products, in a post. “A very natural move after reading news is to share and comment with people who have common interests."
Microsoft want to fill a gap, giving individuals an opportunity to express opinions with others. This was an app that focused on news reading, and now you can chat with the app and with others to create communities, according to Yumao.