Microsoft is rolling out its own news-finding bot called “Rowe”, which is embedded inside the latest version of Microsoft’s Bing-powered personalized news reading app News Pro. According to TechCrunch, the bot is an experiment from Microsoft to help you keep up with the news that matches your current interests. Rowe lets you search for news by typing in a topic, view daily headlines or simply read personalised stories the bot has selected for you.
Unlike a true A.I.-like bot, Rowe however works more like an assistive search engine since its “personalized” suggestions are not as good as its ability to return articles on a given subject, details the source. For instance if you type in a broad subject like “U.S. Elections”, the bot returns just three top stories, one of which appears to be more of a thought piece rather than hard news, which is actually not impressive at all.
Below its recommended stories, buttons appear that let you pull up more news articles on the subject, like those focused on “election predictions” or “polls,” in this case.
Meanwhile, if you type a news topic that’s a bit more specific, the selection of stories may improve. For instance, asking Rowe about “Twitter 140” – a reference to Twitter’s plans to distance itself from its strict 140 character count rule – the bot returns popular stories from well-known sites like Yahoo, CNET, and PCMag.
While the News Pro doesn’t do a great job at personalization yet, it does offer a customized experience by connecting to your Facebook and LinkedIn in order to better understand your interests. You can try it out using the following link: