Microsoft is working with HomeAdvisor and a "substantial" number of brands to build visual features into chatbot services. In the home services market, the artificial intelligence (AI) in the platform will identify the problem and find a professional to fix it.
Allen Klein, account executive at Microsoft, told Search Marketing Daily at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit on Thursday that the bot feature works like a traditional search extension.
The collaborative work done by HomeAdvisor and Microsoft will allow consumers to take a picture of the problem such as a broken water pipe or connector, and the vision API will identify the issue and find the best professional to fix the problem.
While in a search session, the person using the chatbot will have the opportunity to upload a photo to help the artificial intelligence AI engine find the correct home improvement specialist to do the job.
The AI will determine the need based on the uploaded photo and ask the person searching for information to confirm the need.
Klein said Microsoft has a prototype for the blind where eyeglasses see and identify the objects in the image and provide that information back to the person wearing the glasses. HomeAdvisor's technology uses the same technology, which allows people to upload photos into the chatbot.
Christi Olson, brand marketing manager at Bing, on a subsequent panel focusing on AI, called search engines "the original AI" and called the ability to interact with conversational interfaces a natural next step.
Olsen said Bing also integrates into HoloLens, Microsoft's holographic platform.
During the morning, Microsoft also ran through some of the new features offered by Bing. For example, there are 150 million Cortana users, asking about 8 billion questions since its launch. Many of those questions are voice-driven.
Bing, now with 30% share of the search market, sees about 8.8 billion search queries monthly. Microsoft Advertising, now a profitable business, has been growing 15% year-over-year.
Android users can now begin a search on a mobile device and finish it on a personal computer.