Microsoft recently teamed up with Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal to produce a bot for Skype.

The Heston Bot is full of culinary knowledge and will offer up cooking tips, flavour pairings and bite-sized anecdotes from the celebrity chef to turn users into kitchen pros.

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On analysis of the code, it became clear engineers had developed female chatbots, which had in turn engaged some of its male userbase.

The world gawped as a British MP, Michelle Thomson (who subsequently denied using the website) and US actor Josh Duggar (again, denied) were revealed amongst its clientele.

chatbots to businesses as a way to keep customers coming back for more.

A new bot built by Microsoft employees in their spare time is designed to do exactly the opposite.

The chatbot, tested recently in Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington, lurks behind fake online ads for sex posted by nonprofits working to combat human trafficking, and responds to text messages sent to the number listed.

The software initially pretends to be the person in the ad, and can converse about its purported age, body, fetish services, and pricing.The National Human Trafficking Hotline received more than 5,000 reports of sex trafficking in 2016, but most cases are believed to go unreported.Project Intercept’s lead partner, Seattle Against Slavery, is working with counterparts in 21 other U. cities, including Boston and Houston, to deploy the bot more widely.Free dating sites fast became an ecosystem for programmers to let loose their bot scripts - luring the sexually curious to malware or "extra" services.Meeting a robot is an inevitable part of online dating - or owning an email address.Following its success, Browder explored how the robot lawyer could be used for humanitarian causes.