StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, today announced the launch of its new “Skill” for Microsoft Cortana, a voice assistant that helps consumers discover the live events and experiences they want to attend. The StubHub Skill for Cortana is the latest innovation in StubHub’s artificial intelligence (AI) portfolio, which also includes chatbots for Skype and Facebook Messenger.
Beginning next week, to use the StubHub Skill for Cortana, consumers who have Microsoft’s new assistant simply ask for live event ideas by saying, “Cortana, ask StubHub to find me something fun to do tonight,” “Cortana, ask StubHub to find baseball tickets next week,” or similar phrases related to live music, sports and theater. The StubHub Skill then takes consumers through a discovery process based on where they are, what they like, and when they are available, to connect them with ideas for live events.
“Think of the StubHub Skill for Cortana like a concierge that suggests what people can do based on their interests and what their friends are doing, in a natural, conversational, one-to-one experience,” said Mats Nilsson, head of product, UX and PMO for StubHub. “We believe the StubHub Skill for Cortana can help consumers get ideas for live events at the moment they’re inspired to go out, with minimal friction in the experience, as easily as talking with their friends.”
In building the StubHub Skill for Cortana, StubHub leveraged the Microsoft Bot Framework, and well as LUIS, Microsoft’s proprietary natural language processing (NLP) AI, and added a layer of inputs from a variety of StubHub sources to create the most conversational experience possible. StubHub engineers analyzed the results of the StubHub chatbot for Skype to understand people’s expectations and how their conversations evolved, and also tapped into a key StubHub differentiator – the face-to-face interactions between StubHub’s Last-Minute Services (LMS) team and their customers – to understand the types of conversations people have in real life about StubHub, and how the StubHub Skill for Cortana could simulate those.